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FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — A longtime Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Deputy who plans to run for sheriff has opted to take administrative leave without pay after the incumbent told him it was either that, or resign.

The TimesDaily reports that Lauderdale County Deputy John Randall McCrary says he received a letter from Lauderdale Sheriff Rick Singleton on Thursday informing him of his choices, even though he hasn’t officially qualified to oppose Singleton.

Sheriff Singleton says a State Attorney General’s opinion from 1998 gave him the right to take action.

McCrary has served on the force for over two decades and was shot while on duty in an incident in 2016, leaving him in the hospital for over a week. He returned to work just three months later.

Sheriff Singleton says McCrary’s announcement of his plan to run for sheriff has already caused a disruption within the department.