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A former longtime Muskingum County Sheriff has died. Bernie Gibson passed away around 4 this morning after a battle with cancer and emphysema.
The strong willed, tough and fair law enforcement officer was elected sheriff in 1976 and held the position for 20 years, leaving behind a long legacy. Out of the 110 current employees at the sheriff's office, around 35 were hired under Gibson. The consensus is that he was a great boss and he was always very up front with his employees and allowed them to work without much interference.
"Very seldom ever second guessed us or really wanted us to change what should be done,” said Detective Steve Welker. “And I really believe Bernie was a righteous sheriff really tried to do the right thing for the community."
For Muskingum County's current sheriff, Matt Lutz, who was also hired by Gibson, July 12th is already a very emotional day because his father, Mike, was killed on this date 19 years ago in the line of duty,
"So it was kind of surreal that it was the same date,” said Lutz. “He told me a couple of different times that July twelfth was probably one of the hardest times for him during his career in1994. It's pretty ironic that he waited until today."
Funeral Arrangements for Gibson are not yet final.