FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to accept Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr.’s recommendation to promote two patrol corporals to detective positions.

Brothers Stephen Charles of Phillips and Kenneth Charles of Farmington are the new detectives.

Nichols told commissioners that oral boards were held Friday for three candidates who applied for the two open positions. On the board were Nichols, Chief Deputy Steven Lowell, county Lts. David St. Laurent and David Rackliffe, Wilton Sgt. Chad Abbott and Farmington Detective Marc Bowering.

Nichols said the two brothers have incredible instincts and conducted top-notch investigations over the years.

Family members watched the brothers get pinned and receive framed certificates.

Commissioners gave Nichols approval to post in-house for two patrol supervisors to fill the new vacancies.


There are enough talented, qualified and interested people within the department to fill the supervisory positions, Nichols said.

The sheriff will advertise for two patrol deputies. Knowing that there would be vacancies, Nichols said, they have already received 18 or 19 applications.

Commissioners gave him permission to conduct interviews to fill the positions.

Commissioners also voted to accept a $1,000 public service grant from Walmart and will use it to buy a widescreen television for the new dispatch center. Dispatchers will be able use the TV to see mapping locations and to monitor the Sheriff’s Department grounds and buildings.

Nichols also brought up a concern on air quality at the sheriff and dispatch offices. They are in the same building.

He said he was sick for about six weeks and deputies and dispatchers have been feeling ill at times as well. He believes it has to do with air quality, he said. A vent on the ceiling in his office has black stuff on it, he said. They have also reviewed sick leave, and a lot of sick leave is being taken by dispatchers.


Commissioners authorized Nichols to have an air quality test done.

Retired Chief Deputy Raymond Meldrum of Kingfield was authorized in 2009 to have the air quality checked in the dispatch center after similar complaints.

A spokesperson for the dispatchers complained at the time about the air quality in that area, which is separated by walls and glass from the other portion of the building.

“I think they have a good concern,” Meldrum said then.

After being in the area for a while, people’s eyes are watering and they get congested, he said. When they are on vacation, the symptoms disappear, he said.

“We checked the records and the air filters may have not been changed in December,” former Sheriff Dennis Pike said then.

The carpets at the time had also not been washed since the building opened in the 1990s, he said.

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