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Longtime elections bureau director leaves post

April 22, 2020 News Extra

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Unclear whether Brewer retired or resigned

Whether she resigned or retired, Shari Brewer has left the county government building.

The county commissioners issued a news release Wednesday morning announcing the director of the county elections bureau abruptly resigned her position late last week after 10 years on the job.

Leslie Osche, chairwoman of the county commissioners, told the Butler Eagle that Brewer – who assumed the position in 2010 from former director Regis Young - tendered her resignation on Friday. Brewer had been with the county for more than 20 years, starting in 1998.

Osche said she did not know Brewer's motivation for leaving the position in such an abrupt manner, saying only that “I cannot speak to what her reasons might have been.”

Osche went on to say Brewer was not in the building Wednesday, nor was she sure of Brewer's official last day because all documents regarding the resignation were not finalized.

Brewer, on the other hand, said she notified the commissioners Friday of her intent to retire, not resign, and even gave the commissioners two weeks' notice. However, the commissioners declined her offer to work until May 1.

“That was the commissioners' choice,” Brewer said.

She declined to comment on what, if any, problems or disagreements she had with the county that might have resulted in the commissioners' decision to pay her for two weeks, but not have her in the office.

“All I'm going to say is that I retired,” Brewer said when reached by phone Wednesday.

The position oversees all local, state and national elections for the county.

Osche said Brewer left her post at a busy time, as the county will use its new voting machines for the first time at the June 2 primary election, postponed from its original April 28th date due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Brewer was heavily involved in the process of selecting a vendor for the new voting equipment.

Culminating in a perfect storm - with a push by democrats to vote using mailed-in ballots that caused increased work at the bureau, an election in a presidential year and now a global pandemic - Osche called it an unfortunate time to be without an elections director.

“There is a lot of pressure there,” Osche said.

This is an excerpt of a larger article that will appear in Thursday's Butler Eagle. To read the whole story, pick up tomorrow's paper or subscribe online.

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