After more than two decades, Philadelphia Sheriff John D. Green has formally submitted his letter of resignation to the governor.
Green’s resignation becomes effective Nov. 1, 2010.
This means that Governor Edward Rendell will soon have the authority to name a replacement who would serve the remainder of Green’s term until the end of 2011.
Political insiders have strongly suggested that person will be Barbara Deeley, a long time Green loyalist, who was recently promoted to Chief Deputy Sheriff. If Deeley is appointed Sheriff by Gov. Rendell she would make history as the first woman to hold that position.
A decorated former police officer. Green had been rumored for months to be considering early retirement. The only question had been how long would he delay a public announcement of his decision.
Criticized by some for his laid back style of dealing with the local news media. Sheriff Green has been lauded in recent years in national newspapers for his decisive handling of the skyrocketing rate of foreclosures that have been forced on his office because of the disastrous economy.
Several years ago without court approval, Green unilaterally halted all “Sheriff Sales” of foreclosed properties in order to give families more time to make new loan agreements. Local, national and international banks sent up a massive outcry.
Green’s move prompted Common Pleas Court officials to create a special outreach program that has since become a national model.
Elected as the first African American sheriff in 1987, Green had been a decorated police commander who along with recently retired state legislator Harold James had reinvigorated the Guardian Civic League in the early 1980s. The League had pressured then Mayor William Green to live up to campaign promise to hire and promote more African American and Latino police officers in a department which had lagged for many years behind national trends seen in other major American cities.
While not seeking to serve in the interim. State Representative Jewell Williams, a former deputy sheriff, is expected to run for a full four-year term in the May 2011 Primary Election.
An avid golfer. Green is expected to split his time between here and Florida.