FARGO – Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney announced Monday that he will not seek re-election to a fourth term as sheriff.
Laney said that after careful thought and reflection, he’s decided to retire from law enforcement when his term as sheriff of the state’s most populous county concludes Dec. 31, 2018.
In an interview Monday on the Jay Thomas radio show on WDAY-AM, Laney said that although he has been approached about the possibility of seeking higher office, even one that might take him to Washington, he has zero interest in pursuing something like that.
“I am definitely not running for public office,” said Laney, who’s in his early 50s. “I just want to go live some life while I’m still young and still strong.”
In an email to staff, Laney said: “My greatest privilege, my entire adult life, has been to wear the uniform of my country as a United States Marine and the uniform of my community, first as a Fargo police officer, and then as the Cass County sheriff. As I approach nearly three decades of my career in law enforcement, my family and I feel the time has come for me to hang up my gun belt and conclude my law enforcement career.”
In a statement announcing his retirement, Laney said he never felt he had a job “because I was living my passion to serve and the last 11 years as sheriff has been like living a dream.”
“I feel that I did what I was elected to do, and what I promised the community I would do as their sheriff. As an elected leader, I believe it’s time for me to step aside and let someone else take the reins of this great office,” Laney said.
Whoever is elected sheriff after Laney will take office on Jan. 1, 2019.