Oswego County’s highest-ranking appointed police official is calling it a career — for now.
Undersheriff Robert Lighthall, the second-in-command to Sheriff Reuel “Mo” Todd, announced to co-workers that he will retire at the end of March.
“I’ve got my (retirement) papers right here on my desk,” Lighthall told Oswego County Today Tuesday, adding that he would be dropping them in the mail on the way home from work.
Lighthall was hired as a corrections officer in May, 1977, on the first workday after he completed training. He said he had to beg his supervisor for a day off at the end of his first week of work so he could attend his own graduation ceremony.
“When I came back, they put me on 13 months of overnights,” he said.
Lighthall said he is stepping down now to help his parents run the family’s business, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp and Resort in Mexico. He said he used a lot of leave time last year to help them with the park, but it took a lot out of him to do both jobs.
His two brothers still have a few years to go before they can retire, he said, so he’s stepping down now because he can and because his parents need the help.
But he’s not ruling out a return.
“I’ve held every rank in the department, except one,” he said.
Lighthall has never made a secret of his desire to succeed Todd as Sheriff. Todd won a fresh 4-year term as Sheriff in last November’s elections, so the seat will not be open until 2014 unless Todd retires before then.
He said he will likely run for the position whenever it opens up.