Sheriff says he’ll retire |

Sheriff says he’ll retire

Gregory Crofton

El Dorado County Sheriff Hal Barker said he will retire from law enforcement next year and scrap plans for re-election if another candidate runs against challenger Sgt. Larry Hennick.

Barker said Hennick has no business being sheriff. He wants Sacramento County sheriff’s Capt. John McGinness, who has expressed interest in the job, to be his successor.

Barker said he knew in 1997 that he wanted to serve only one term as sheriff.

“But when no real good candidate emerged, I decided to gear up and run for sheriff (again),” he said. “When (McGinness) was approached and said he would strongly consider running for sheriff as long as Barker doesn’t run, I called him and said, ‘good for you my friend, you have my support.’ I decided to retire because of an emergence of a great candidate.”

McGinness said he is grateful for Barker’s endorsement but that it is “hasty” and “premature.” However, McGinness said he is still weighing his options and may run for sheriff. The filing deadline for the March 5 election is Sept. 28.

“It is an organization that has very competent people who are desperately in need of leadership,” he said. “I find that challenge an intriguing prospect. I have given some serious thought to it and talked to members of the department and will continue to do so.”

Barker said he is sure that McGinness will run for sheriff, but if if he doesn’t he may re-evaluate his plans to retire.

On Wednesday, Hennick said he is even more confident that he will be the county’s 30th sheriff.

“I’m glad he’s chosen to retire,” Hennick said of Barker. “I’ve really nothing ill to say of him. I thought in my heart he probably would retire because of his age. I was not running against Hal Barker or anyone else. What I want to do is what is best for the county. I have direction and vision for the department.”

Hennick, 48, is a 27-year veteran of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. In June, he won an appeal with the Civil Service Commission, which found he was wrongly denied a promotion to lieutenant. The commission has not ruled on Hennick’s request to be promoted with retroactive pay and benefits.

McGinness, 43, is a member of the board of directors of Cameron Park Community Services. In 1996, he lost his bid to become District 1 supervisor.

Barker, 63, was appointed by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors in 1997 after Sheriff Don McDonald retired. Barker, former chief of the Folsom Police Department, ran uncontested in 1998.

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