Sawyer County’s new sheriff, Doug Mrotek, took the oath of office and was officially sworn in by the Honorable John Yackel on Wednesday, October 25, in the large courtroom of the Sawyer County Courthouse.
Mrotek was appointed by Governor Scott Walker on September 23 after former sheriff, Mark Kelsey, resigned due to health reasons.
Mrotek has been acting as sheriff since his appointment. He was selected by the governor from four applicants. A panel interviewed all four applicants in Madison and selected two to be interviewed by Governor Walker.
Mrotek said he received a call from the governor at 3:35 pm on September 23.
“The whole appointment process was an exciting experience and today is a very special day for me,” Mrotek told a packed courtroom of friends, family and county officials Wednesday morning. “The experience ranks right behind getting married and having my three children.”
Hayward School District Superintendent Craig Olson said he has known Mrotek for 17 years through Mrotek’s service on the Hayward School Board and in law enforcement.
“He has several natural traits of a great leader,” Olson said. “His promptness was noteworthy. He was always on time no matter what meeting and he came with a clear and precise vision of what needed to be done.”
Olson said Mrotek is very knowledgeable and has always been his go-to guy with questions regarding law enforcement or the school board.
“He follows through with his commitments. If he makes a promise, he will deliver,” Olson said. “As one great man leaves, we welcome another great man.”
Don Semler, President of the Sawyer County/LCO Economic Development Corporation, also spoke at the swearing-in. Semler served with Mrotek on the Hayward School Board. He said one word, compassionate, best describes Mrotek, as defined in the dictionary, where it lists sympathy, understanding, and kindness.
Semler described his experience with Mrotek on the school board. “He would go above and beyond by meeting with students, teachers, administrators and even the lunch lady so that he could serve on the board from their perspective. This was why he came to the board meetings with a better understanding than the other board members.”
Semler said Mrotek will bring this same perspective to the sheriff’s office. “He’ll see himself as part of the team and not above anyone else. He brings character, professionalism, and dedication to whatever he commits himself too.”
After Sheriff Mrotek was sworn in he thanked former sheriff, Mark Kelsey, for his 37 years in local law enforcement.
“I definitely have big shoes to fill,” Mrotek said. He addressed the audience and said, “I give you my pledge to serve you with the best of my ability in law enforcement and other services. I will serve with a vision to reduce crime in Sawyer County.”