HUNTSVILLE — A vote on who will serve as Scott County's sheriff through Aug. 31, 2014, is expected by Scott County Commission tonight.
Commissioners will meet in regular session at the County Office Building in Huntsville, beginning at 6 p.m.
Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals told the Independent Herald Tuesday morning that two lawmen — current chief deputy Ronnie Phillips and former chief deputy Bobby Ellis — submitted applications for the position during a period of time designated by the county for interested persons to come forward.
Tibbals confirmed that both men meet all the qualifications to hold the office.
The sheriff's seat has been vacant since Sheriff Mike Cross died on Dec. 8 following a short battle with a rare form of melanoma. However, Phillips — who served as chief deputy for the duration of Cross's three years in office — has served as acting sheriff since that time.
Phillips was a corporal under Cross at Oneida Police Department until Cross was elected sheriff in August 2010. Phillips joined Cross at the Sheriff's Department as Cross's chief deputy on Sept. 1, 2010. After Cross became ill last year, Phillips handled the day-to-day operations at the Sheriff's Department.
Ellis, meanwhile, is also a long-time lawman. He served as a police officer in Winfield and is currently serving as a sheriff's deputy in Morgan County. Most notably, he spent several months as acting sheriff in Scott County in 2010, and was chief deputy under former sheriff Anthony Lay.
Ellis joined Lay as chief deputy following Lay's election in August 2006. He served as chief deputy until Lay resigned his post in the summer of 2010 to take a position with the U.S. Marshal Service. County Commission at that time named Ellis acting sheriff for the remaining days of Lay's term, which ended Aug. 31, 2010.
With the qualifying deadline for the 2010 election having passed before Lay resigned, Ellis mounted a candidacy as a write-in candidate in the 2010 sheriff's race. Ultimately, Cross won the election with 1,975 votes. Former sheriff Jim Carson finished second, with 1,643 votes. Cross finished with 1,414 votes.