Chief Deputy Bill Guenther appointed sheriff as of May 1

Bill Guenther
Bill Guenther

As of May 1, Isanti County will have a new sheriff.

At the Isanti County Board meeting March 6, the board appointed Isanti County Chief Deputy Bill Guenther sheriff effective May 1.

The appointment was made due to the resignation of Isanti County Sheriff Russ Monson effective April 30.

Guenther will serve as sheriff until Dec. 31, 2014. An election for Isanti County sheriff will take place in November 2014.

“Bill has served as my chief deputy for four years,” Monson said. “If it wouldn’t have been for the hard work of Bill, my job would have been a lot harder. He has been my right-hand man.”

Guenther has been involved in law enforcement in Isanti County since 1981.

“The appointment to sheriff was something that I never expected to happen,” Guenther said. “I would like to thank Sheriff Russ Monson for the recommendation, and thank the Isanti County Board for approving it. We have a great bunch of people working at the sheriff’s office and that will make the transition to the sheriff position much easier for all of us. I have a lot of support from them also, which means a lot to me. I look forward to the challenge.”

Monson said Guenther has been instrumental in every facet of the department, including a redesign of the policy manual.

“I have total faith and confidence in Bill as sheriff,” Monson said. “I know he will do a phenomenal job as sheriff.”

Monson noted that there isn’t any “acting” title to Guethener’s position when he takes over as sheriff May 1.

“When a county board appoints someone sheriff, they are sheriff,” Monson said. “There is no ‘acting’ title associated with Bill as sheriff. He has all the same rights as if he were elected sheriff.”

Annual Medical Examiners Report

Dr. A Quinn Strobl, MD, Isanti County Chief Medical Examiner, presented a summary of medical examiner involvement for deaths occurring in Isanti County in 2012.

Two hundred and seven deaths were investigated in 2012, a slight increase compared to 2011.

In addition, a case of a found human bone was also investigated. Dr. Strobl said just a small piece of a human skull was found, and it’s still being investigated.

She explained of the 207 deaths, 80 were registered hospice and 161 cremations were approved. Twenty-one percent (43) of these incidents required a scene investigation. The Medical Examiner’s Office assumed jurisdiction of 31 cases. Of these, 15 autopsies were required.

Eight of the deaths requiring an autopsy were attributed to natural causes. The deceased ranged in age from 34 to 86 years. Nearly all died due to a form of heart disease.

Two people died due to motor vehicle-related incidents: a 36-year-old male was the operator of a motorcycle that collided with a car; a 48-year-old man, who was intoxicated with alcohol, was the ejected driver of a vehicle that left the roadway and crashed.

Five deaths were classified as accidental, non-motor vehicle related. Four people, aged 76 to 94, died due to complications of hip fractures due to falls from standing height. One man, aged 34, died due to use of another’s prescription medication.

Three deaths were classified as suicide. The deceased ranged in age from 35 to 40 years, with two females and one male.

No death investigated by the medical examiner’s office in Isanti County was classified as homicide in 2012.

“It is a privilege to serve as medical examiner for Isanti County,” Dr. Strobl said. “Thank you for the opportunity to continue to work with you and the law enforcement professionals of your community. We look forward to the coming year and to contributing to the ongoing health and safety of your residents.”

Chair Susan Morris thanked Dr. Strobl for her efforts.

“Thank you for doing a great job for us and we appreciate the partnership,” Morris said.