Ness County clerk takes over sheriff's duties following resignations

NESS COUNTY, Kan. About two weeks after Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple's guilty plea for a federal firearms charge, there's more shakeup in the department with the resignations of the county's undersheriff, three deputies and one emergency dispatcher.

Ness County Clerk Renee Kerr has assumed sheriff's duties on a temporary basis. A news release from the county says Kerr appointed Republican nominee for Sheriff Brandon Mitchell as her undersheriff and Travis Rothe as deputy.

"An Emergency Declaration has been signed and mutual aid is forthcoming," Kerr says. "We are focusing on county business and moving forward."

As the county moves forward, Kerr says there are still a few deputies on patrol and she anticipates the sheriff's office being "nearly fully" staffed again in about a week.