Lyon sheriff retiring, two announce intentions to run |

Lyon sheriff retiring, two announce intentions to run

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

After 14 years on the job, Sheriff Sid Smith said Friday he’s turning in his badge for the hills of Utah.

“I’m retiring and very happy to be,” Smith said.

The news came one day after former Carson City Sheriff’s sergeant Ron John and former sheriff’s candidate Charlie Duke, both Dayton republicans, announced their intentions to run for Smith’s soon-to-be-vacant seat during the new year’s first Lyon County Board of Commissioners meeting.

“I feel that I have some very unique qualifications that will benefit me and the community. I’ve been a former administrator, a former sheriff in Washington, I worked on the new jail in Carson City when it opened 1999 and I was also the commander of the general services division there,” John, 57, said Friday night. “I am Nevada certified and I have Northern Nevada law enforcement experience. Having been able to watch the growth and the change that’s happened in Nevada in the last 10 to 12 years, I think those experiences would benefit me as sheriff of Lyon County and in turn would benefit the citizens of Lyon County.”

Duke, 59, is no stranger to the campaign trail.

In 2002, a list of seven candidates was honed down in the primary election to just he and Smith left to face off in the general election.

Duke retired in 1999 after 29 years as a police officer in Los Angeles and most recently has done some work on insurance fraud investigation and as a substitute teacher in both Carson and Lyon county.

“Lyon County’s law enforcement needs to be brought into the 21st century. We’re losing deputies left and right, moral is low, there’s been a 24 percent increase in crime and right now it’s a reactive agency. My law enforcement experience has basically been proactive. This agency needs leadership. What I would bring is a unique supervisory style and management style that would make this a unique place to work.”

When his time is up in January 2007, Sheriff Smith said he and his wife will build a home in Cedar City, Utah.

Appointed to the position in the spring of 1992 following the death of Sheriff Jim Guerts, Smith was elected as sheriff for a two-year term in a special election that November. He was re-elected to full terms in 1994, 1998 and 2002.

Candidates will file their intentions in May. The primary election is in August.

— Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.