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Summit County Sheriff nominated for U.S. Marshal

Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez

Summit County could be looking for a new sheriff soon.

President Joe Biden nominated Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez for a new job, which could soon create an opening for the top job in county law enforcement.

The Biden administration selected Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez to be the state of Utah’s next U.S. Marshal.

The marshal enforces federal laws, provides security at federal courts, helps catch fugitives and carries out federal court orders, among other responsibilities.

“As the sheriff, I'm responsible for incarcerating those who have been charged in district court, I'm responsible for working with the district court judges, I'm responsible for fugitive apprehension,” Martinez says. “I'll be doing the same role but at a federal level. I'll be working with federal judges, federal prosecutors, federal inmates. That will translate very well from the Sheriff to the U.S. Marshal.”

Martinez has to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He says that may take several months, and he intends to accept the job if confirmed.

Martinez is running for Summit County Sheriff in the November election. Since he likely wouldn’t be confirmed as U.S. Marshal for Utah until after election day, he expects to start a new term leading Summit County law enforcement next year if elected.

If he vacates the Sheriff’s position, the seat will belong to the Democratic Party, which will nominate the next Summit County Sheriff. He says they would serve until a midterm election in 2024, when a Democratic or Republican candidate could be elected.

In 2024, a new sheriff would take over for two years until the 2026 election. Then, Martinez says whoever’s elected in 2026 would begin a four-year term.

Shortly after the announcement of Biden’s nomination, U.S. senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee of Utah endorsed Martinez.

Martinez says if he’s confirmed, he would serve at the will of the sitting President of the United States.

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