311.01 Election and qualifications of sheriff.

(A) A sheriff shall be elected quadrennially in each county. A sheriff shall hold office for a term of four years, beginning on the first Monday of January next after the sheriff's election.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person is eligible to be a candidate for sheriff, and no person shall be elected or appointed to the office of sheriff, unless that person meets all of the following requirements:

(1) The person is a citizen of the United States.

(2) The person has been a resident of the county in which the person is a candidate for or is appointed to the office of sheriff for at least one year immediately prior to the qualification date.

(3) The person has the qualifications of an elector as specified in section 3503.01 of the Revised Code and has complied with all applicable election laws.

(4) The person has been awarded a high school diploma or a certificate of high school equivalence issued for achievement of specified minimum scores on the general educational development test of the American council on education.

(5) The person has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony or any offense involving moral turpitude under the laws of this or any other state or the United States, and has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense that is a misdemeanor of the first degree under the laws of this state or an offense under the laws of any other state or the United States that carries a penalty that is substantially equivalent to the penalty for a misdemeanor of the first degree under the laws of this state.

(6) The person has been fingerprinted and has been the subject of a search of local, state, and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record. Such fingerprints shall be taken under the direction of the administrative judge of the court of common pleas who, prior to the applicable qualification date, shall notify the board of elections, board of county commissioners, or county central committee of the proper political party, as applicable, of the judge's findings.

(7) The person has prepared a complete history of the person's places of residence for a period of six years immediately preceding the qualification date and a complete history of the person's places of employment for a period of six years immediately preceding the qualification date, indicating the name and address of each employer and the period of time employed by that employer. The residence and employment histories shall be filed with the administrative judge of the court of common pleas of the county, who shall forward them with the findings under division (B)(6) of this section to the appropriate board of elections, board of county commissioners, or county central committee of the proper political party prior to the applicable qualification date.

(8) The person meets at least one of the following conditions:

(a) Has obtained or held, within the four-year period ending immediately prior to the qualification date, a valid basic peace officer certificate of training issued by the Ohio peace officer training commission or has been issued a certificate of training pursuant to section 5503.05 of the Revised Code, and, within the four-year period ending immediately prior to the qualification date, has been employed as an appointee pursuant to section 5503.01 of the Revised Code or as a full-time peace officer as defined in section 109.71 of the Revised Code performing duties related to the enforcement of statutes, ordinances, or codes;

(b) Has obtained or held, within the three-year period ending immediately prior to the qualification date, a valid basic peace officer certificate of training issued by the Ohio peace officer training commission and has been employed for at least the last three years prior to the qualification date as a full-time law enforcement officer, as defined in division (A)(11) of section 2901.01 of the Revised Code, performing duties related to the enforcement of statutes, ordinances, or codes.

(9) The person meets at least one of the following conditions:

(a) Has at least two years of supervisory experience as a peace officer at the rank of corporal or above, or has been appointed pursuant to section 5503.01 of the Revised Code and served at the rank of sergeant or above, in the five-year period ending immediately prior to the qualification date;

(b) Has completed satisfactorily at least two years of post-secondary education or the equivalent in semester or quarter hours in a college or university authorized to confer degrees by the Ohio board of regents or the comparable agency of another state in which the college or university is located or in a school that holds a certificate of registration issued by the state board of career colleges and schools under Chapter 3332. of the Revised Code.

(C) Persons who meet the requirements of division (B) of this section, except the requirement of division (B)(2) of this section, may take all actions otherwise necessary to comply with division (B) of this section. If, on the applicable qualification date, no person has met all the requirements of division (B) of this section, then persons who have complied with and meet the requirements of division (B) of this section, except the requirement of division (B)(2) of this section, shall be considered qualified candidates under division (B) of this section.

(D) Newly elected sheriffs shall attend a basic training course conducted by the Ohio peace officer training commission pursuant to division (A) of section 109.80 of the Revised Code. A newly elected sheriff shall complete not less than two weeks of this course before the first Monday in January next after the sheriff's election. While attending the basic training course, a newly elected sheriff may, with the approval of the board of county commissioners, receive compensation, paid for from funds established by the sheriff's county for this purpose, in the same manner and amounts as if carrying out the powers and duties of the office of sheriff.

Appointed sheriffs shall attend the first basic training course conducted by the Ohio peace officer training commission pursuant to division (A) of section 109.80 of the Revised Code within six months following the date of appointment or election to the office of sheriff. While attending the basic training course, appointed sheriffs shall receive regular compensation in the same manner and amounts as if carrying out their regular powers and duties.

Five days of instruction at the basic training course shall be considered equal to one week of work. The costs of conducting the basic training course and the costs of meals, lodging, and travel of appointed and newly elected sheriffs attending the course shall be paid from state funds appropriated to the commission for this purpose.

(E) In each calendar year, each sheriff shall attend and successfully complete at least sixteen hours of continuing education approved under division (B) of section 109.80 of the Revised Code. A sheriff who receives a waiver of the continuing education requirement from the commission under division (C) of section 109.80 of the Revised Code because of medical disability or for other good cause shall complete the requirement at the earliest time after the disability or cause terminates.

(F)

(1) Each person who is a candidate for election to or who is under consideration for appointment to the office of sheriff shall swear before the administrative judge of the court of common pleas as to the truth of any information the person provides to verify the person's qualifications for the office. A person who violates this requirement is guilty of falsification under section 2921.13 of the Revised Code.

(2) Each board of elections shall certify whether or not a candidate for the office of sheriff who has filed a declaration of candidacy, a statement of candidacy, or a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate meets the qualifications specified in divisions (B) and (C) of this section.

(G) The office of a sheriff who is required to comply with division (D) or (E) of this section and who fails to successfully complete the courses pursuant to those divisions is hereby deemed to be vacant.

(H) As used in this section:

(1) "Qualification date" means the last day on which a candidate for the office of sheriff can file a declaration of candidacy, a statement of candidacy, or a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate, as applicable, in the case of a primary election for the office of sheriff; the last day on which a person may be appointed to fill a vacancy in a party nomination for the office of sheriff under Chapter 3513. of the Revised Code, in the case of a vacancy in the office of sheriff; or a date thirty days after the day on which a vacancy in the office of sheriff occurs, in the case of an appointment to such a vacancy under section 305.02 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Newly elected sheriff" means a person who did not hold the office of sheriff of a county on the date the person was elected sheriff of that county.

Cite as R.C. § 311.01

History. Effective Date: 12-09-2003