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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – Acting Limestone County Sheriff Mike West held a news conference on Thursday after Mike Blakely’s recent conviction.

Mike, Blakely, the longest-serving sheriff in the state, was convicted of felony theft and ethics charges and officially removed from office. Limestone County Coroner Mike West assumed the role of sheriff after the guilty verdict was read.

West confirmed Blakely is in administrative detention at the Limestone County Correctional Facility. Sheriff West said Blakely is separated from the other inmates and in protective custody because he is a former law enforcement officer.

Blakely is afforded all activities that any other inmate would receive, including visitation with his lawyers and family, and pay telephone services.

Governor Ivey will appoint a new sheriff. A spokesperson for her office says they will begin accepting applications and then the interview process will start in the coming weeks.

Mike Blakely is facing up to twenty years in prison for each of the felony convictions. His sentencing date has been scheduled for August 20.