Talbot County Sheriff Herman Howard died early Sunday from natural causes, officials said.
Howard, who took office at age 68 in 2008, served as both chief deputy and county road superintendent for years. He was the county’s first African-American sheriff.
“I enjoyed my time around him,” said jailer and dispatcher Michael Cardwell, who works part time at the sheriff’s office.
Talbot County Coroner Clinton Cosby said Howard was pronounced dead at 1:26 a.m. Sunday at St. Francis Hospital. Howard’s body is being sent to Atlanta for an autopsy, Cosby said.
Funeral arrangements for Howard have not yet been finalized.
It’s expected that the county’s probate judge will appoint an interim sheriff until a special election can be set.