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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey has appointed a new Limestone County Sheriff following Mike Blakely’s conviction on theft and ethics charges and removal from office.

Joshua McLaughlin, chief investigator in the Limestone County District Attorney’s Office, will serve the remainder of Blakely’s term.

Prior to his time in the DA’s office, McLaughlin was an investigator in the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office narcotics division.

Ivey called McLaughin Wednesday morning to inform him of her decision, saying she’s hopeful confidence in elected officials will be restored with the appointment.

“Joshua McLaughlin not only embodies the best qualities of a dedicated member of law enforcement, but also that of someone who is committed to serving their community, being a man of faith and of his family. I am proud to appoint Mr. McLaughlin to serve as Limestone County Sheriff. He believes, first and foremost, in protecting his community, the rule of law and the rights of others. Throughout his career in law enforcement, he has proven to be an advocate for personal accountability, but also a believer in second chances. The people of Limestone County deserve to have total confidence and trust in their elected officials, and I am confident that will be restored with Joshua McLaughlin.”

Gov. Kay Ivey

McLaughlin is the new sheriff, effective immediately.

He released a statement regarding his appointment from the governor:

I am thankful to Governor Kay Ivey for the great honor of being chosen to serve the people of Limestone County as Sheriff. Many qualified candidates applied for the position, and I am grateful for their commitment to the safety of our community. I am fortunate to be inheriting a department full of talented officers and professional staff.  I  am blessed with the opportunity to build on the successes of the past, to create a modern Sheriff’s Department equipped for the future. To the citizens of Limestone County, I pledge always to put your safety and security first and to fairly and equally enforce the rule of law. 

Limestone County Sheriff Joshua McLaughlin

Read Gov. Ivey’s official appointment letter here.