St. Joseph County Sheriff Brad Balk announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of January.
Balk, 65, said his last day will be Jan. 31, 11 months before the end of his four-year elected term. Sheriff since 2009, Balk appeared before county commission members and read a one-page letter in which he stated his plans to step down.
He said his decision was based on nothing more than recognizing his desire to spend more time with his wife, kids and grandchildren.
Commissioners applauded Balk and complemented his commitment to the job.
Balk recommended undersheriff Mark Lillywhite fulfills the final 11 months of his term.
Lillywhite, a Three Rivers resident who turned 44 Tuesday, said he has submitted to county administrator Teresa Doehring his letter of interest and a résumé in hopes of being considered for the interim role.
Lillywhite has spent the past 11 of his 24-year sheriff’s department career as undersheriff.