Originally Published: May 16, 2011 10:03 p.m.
COTTONWOOD - The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors on Monday accepted Steve Waugh's resignation as County Sheriff and voted 3-0 to appoint Chief Deputy Scott Mascher to fill the position.
Waugh, 65, last week announced his retirement, effective June 3, two years into his second term. Mascher was his heir apparent to many observers; rumors ran rampant that Mascher had come back to the YCSO just three months after retiring himself so he could take Waugh's position upon his retirement, a plan Mascher has repeatedly denied.
Mascher, 49, had put in a quarter-century with the YCSO before retiring in February. He has experience with just about every facet of operations in the Sheriff's Office, and, equally important, he has the confidence of all three supervisors.
Waugh spoke at Monday's meeting about leaving law enforcement. In a shaking voice, he said, "This is an emotional day for me. But after 45 years of being a cop, being in this business, it is time to not have to go to bed with a phone by my ear."
He choked up briefly, then continued, "This agency is, I think, the best in Yavapai County, one of the best in Arizona, and maybe in the nation.
"I can't take credit for everything (the YCSO has done). I just take credit having a vision," he said. "We have been able to move this agency into the 21st century."
Waugh stopped and said, "I hate this."
"Then don't go," District 2 Supervisor Tom Thurman said with a laugh.
District 3 Supervisor Chip Davis said, "We've witnessed what's happened with Maricopa County between the Board and the Sheriff, and I can tell you I am very thankful for the relationship this Board has had with the Sheriff's Office."
Davis also addressed the controversy surrounding Mascher's appointment. "I contemplated sitting on it for a while, to see what kind of applications might get from other folks," he said, "but after giving it a lot of thought, if I were king for a day, I would pick Scott Mascher out of everyone in this world to run the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office."
Waugh said, despite rumors, he isn't sick or dying.
"There are no indictments coming, no malfeasance," behind his resignation, he said.
Mascher said he would hit the ground running. "I'll be working within the next three weeks to transition over, to make a smooth transition.
"I hope my last 25 years shows you that I am going to continue to work hard, to do the best I can for the community and the Sheriff's office," he said.