Longtime Ocean County Sheriff William L. Polhemus has tapped his former undersheriff to replace Wayne R. Rupert, who died in October.
William T. Sommeling's appointment is slated to be announced at the Ocean County Board of Freeholders meeting Wednesday, said Mary McCue, Polhemus' secretary.
Sommeling, 77, previously served as Polhemus' undersheriff for many years.
Polhemus could not be reached for comment this afternoon, McCue said.
"The sheriff is unable to come to the phone," she said. "He's tied up."
Sources say Polhemus, 83, wants to run for another term as Ocean County sheriff in 2012.
Freeholder John P. Kelly said this afternoon that he has been interested in the sheriff's position for years, but only if and when Polhemus decides to step down.
"As far as I know, Bill Polhemus is going to be our next candidate," Kelly said. "I'm not seeking to unseat the incumbent sheriff."
The decision of who would replace Rupert following his death in October was the 83-year-old sheriff's decision to make, Ocean County Administrator Carl W. Block has said.
The is one of three constitutional offices in the state, which gives Polhemus the power to appoint Rupert's successor, he said.
"It's his sole choice," Block has said.
at his vacation home in Lancaster County, Pa., after he fell from the roof of his trailer, Block said.
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