GIRARD — Although possibly a surprise to the public, the announcement of the pending retirement of Sheriff Dan Peak in the summer of 2019, was actually planned well in advance. Peak released the information to the media last week, but — according to the sheriff — the discussion began last year.

“It all started to come together last fall when I researched my retirement options, and discovered I would be eligible soon,” Peak said.

Peak said he considered his options for a long time before deciding to go ahead and announce his intent to retire.

“We tried our best to keep the plans under our hats as long as possible, but as things got out I decided to go ahead and explain,” he said.

Peak praised his staff for their hard work and professionalism during his time at the department, noting that he was often able to spend more time with his family because of their dedication.

“My wife and family have put up with a lot during my time in law enforcement.” Peak said. “However, as sheriff I didn’t have to miss as much. That is thanks to my staff.”

He also said he has few worries for the turnover process next year because of the level of professionalism of those who work for him.

“My staff has brought this agency to a level of professionalism and integrity that I admire,” Peak said. “We have great leadership, and I know that will continue after I retire.”

The timing of Peak’s retirement was questioned due to the filing of a recent federal lawsuit by a former employee alleging age discrimination. However, Peak said his announcement was not related to the case.

“This isn’t my first lawsuit. It’s not my first rodeo. My announcement had absolutely nothing to do that lawsuit or any other,” Peak said. “I am completely comfortable with my actions as the leader of this agency. I hope everyone pays close attention to the case. I acted with the best interest of the agency when I took the steps I did.”

Peak, has been with the Crawford County Sheriff's Office for 30 years. He served as the undersheriff for Sandy Horton before being elected Sheriff in 2012. Undersheriff Steve Geier, who will follow Peak into retirement, has been with the department for 33 years.

Following his retirement Peak will go to work for Watco, in Pittsburg. Geier has not announced his plans following retirement.