(WBIR- Monroe County) Monroe County sheriff-elect Randy White took the oath of office Thursday night in Madisonville.
Bill Bivens will continue as Monroe County sheriff until White takes office Sept. 1.
White was sworn in earlier than many other winning candidates because he will be at a sheriff's convention during the official ceremony.
White beat Bivens in the August election by 703 votes. White was approved to be on the ballot, but on July 18, the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission determined White did not meet the requirements to be sheriff. POST said he needed three years of full-time law enforcement experience as a certified law enforcement officer in the last 10 years to qualify for the position, but he did not meet that requirement.
Monroe County attorney Jerome Melson said Monroe County and the election commission support leaving White on the ballot based on the paperwork he submitted. He said it would have been too complicated to remove White from the ballot without affecting other races.
Bivens filed a lawsuit against White Tuesday with the hope of keeping his job. The Monroe County Democratic Party filed a similar lawsuit prior to the election.
Charles Burks, White's attorney, said he does not think the Democrat party has any standing to support the lawsuits.
"We think that the sheriff's office needs to move forward and should abide by the will of the voters who elected Sheriff-Elect White by a very comfortable margin," Burks said.
Bivens said he would support the court's decision, whatever it is.
"Had he just gone into law enforcement and got that other six months prior to running, I wouldn't have a problem with it," Bivens said. "I don't think the voters would either. I don't think most people understood exactly what was going on."
No court date has been set in either case.