Mineral County was already in a tough spot when they had to shut down their jail due to understaffing, but now, County Commissioner Roman Zylawy says "all hell is breaking loose" after County Sheriff Tom Bauer has resigned.

"He tendered his resignation, he will be turning in his badge, his gun, his computer, his office.... he's gone. His pay has ceased, his insurance has ceased, he's no longer an employee," Zylawy said. "Normally people give 30 days notice or two weeks  something like that, but this was effective the day he gave it to me, at 10 minutes to 2:00 p.m. on Monday November 13th."

The gap caused by the resignation of the Sheriff is compounded by other recent resignations that have cut the Sheriff’s Department nearly in half.

"Currently we are down two deputies, and now, that we lost the sheriff, we are down three law enforcement people in the county," Zylawy said. "Mineral County's normal staffing is: the Sheriff and the Undersheriff, who are non-union, so that's two, and then five deputies that are union, so that's a total of seven law enforcement in a community with 4,000 population."

As of Monday, Mineral County Undersheriff Mike Boone became the acting Sheriff. Zylawy says Bauer’s resignation came just three hours before a meeting was scheduled to discuss the situation at the jail, but he still doesn’t know why Bauer resigned on such short notice. A resignation letter delivered by Bauer gives no specific reasons. The county will likely have to rely on mutual aid help from the Highway Patrol until positions at the Sheriff’s office can be filled.

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