Sheriff Stan Hilkey to step down early

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey is moving up the ranks of public safety and leaving his position early than expected.

Sheriff Hilkey announced his resignation Thursday morning along with the reasoning behind it, a job as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

He'll be starting the job in Denver June 16, so his last day as Mesa County Sheriff will be the day before that, nearly six months before the end of his term.

"It's going into a great department that has a great mission and supports law enforcement and supports communities around the state," Hilkey said. "What a better opportunity."

Mesa County Undersheriff Rebecca Spiess will take over Hilkey's position until Mesa County commissioners appoint someone.

Hilkey has recommended Spiess as the apointee for the remainder of the year.

The position will still be up for election in November.

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