Etowah County Sheriff has heart attack, dies during hunting trip
Etowah County Sheriff James Hayes died Friday night during a
hunting trip in Wisconsin, a deputy said.
Deputy Jim Finley said Friday night that Hayes died of "an apparent
The Gadsden Times reported that Etowah County Coroner Michael
Gladden will serve as acting sheriff until Gov. Bob Riley appoints a
permanent replacement for Hayes.
Gladden, 31, was elected coroner last year and, by law,
automatically takes over duties in case of the death of a sheriff.
Gladden told the Times he knows Hayes' shoes are big ones to
fill. But he said Hayes left the department so well prepared that
there should be no problems.
It was unclear when Riley would appoint a new sheriff.
Hayes joined the sheriff's office in 1972 and was elected sheriff
He was serving his sixth term at the time of his death, according to
the sheriff's office Web site.
Hayes was born and raised in the Ball Play community near Hokes
Bluff and lived in Hokes Bluff at the time of his death. He is
survived by his wife and two sons.
Information from: The Gadsden Times,
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