Grundy County Chief Deputy Kevin Callahan was sworn in Friday as sheriff to succeedd Sheriff Terry Marketti, who died in his sleep Friday morning.
Marketti, 56, was found by family members and declared deceased a little before 8 a.m., said Grundy County Coroner John Callahan. The sheriff passed of natural causes and had been fighting medical issues.
Kevin Callahan was sworn in as sheriff by Judge Sheldon Sobol.
State statute allows for county sheriffs and coroners to file with the county clerk’s office a letter of succession indicating who should take over their positions upon their death.
Marketti did this and named Kevin Callahan, said Jason Helland, Grundy County state’s attorney.
Callahan said by phone Friday he was aware of the succession letter that Marketti created back in 2004 and that it was in his file, but “I hoped it would be there ’til the day I retired,” he said.
“I’ll take over the duties as sheriff, call me sheriff or call me whatever. All I care about is continuing to go in the direction we have been going in the last 25 to 30 years,” Callahan said.
The succession letter’s designation will make Callahan sheriff for the remainder of Marketti’s term, which is about two years, Helland said.
Callahan became Marketti’s right-hand man when Marketti became sheriff in 2004.
“Sheriff Marketti has been a steadfast leader that is greatly respected and loved by everyone in the department,” said Callahan in a press release. “Although this will be a very difficult time, we will continue to provide the best professional public service to the citizens of Grundy County.”
Marketti became a sheriff’s officer in 1978, at the age of 21, under Sheriff William Button, according to Kevin Callahan’s release. Under Button, he worked in the civil process/warrant division, jail, telecommunications and as a patrol deputy on the midnight shift.
In 1982, under Sheriff Gary Phillips, Marketti was put in the investigations division and later promoted to detective sergeant, the position he held until 1986. That year, Sheriff Jim Olson was elected and made Marketti chief deputy. He was second in command until Olson died in 2004.
“Sheriff Marketti dedicated all of his adult life to servicing the community,” said Callahan. “He was a true leader and a great friend.”