Deputy promoted to IT director

A veteran lawman is leaving the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department to become the county’s new information technology director.

Jeff Wehmiller will succeed Jim Hartsook on Monday.

Hartsook, who was the county’s IT director for more than 10 years, resigned in August to accept a position with Columbus Regional Hospital, Bartholomew County Commissioners Chairman Larry Kleinhenz said.

The commissioners officially voted Monday to hire Wehmiller, who has degrees in computer electronics and engineering technology from ITT Technical Institute in Indianapolis.

Wehmiller will have three employees under his command. Due to budget constraints, the county has decided against filling one open position in the IT department.

During Monday’s commissioners meeting, Kleinhenz said permanently reducing the county’s IT department was not his first choice.

“Do we want to do it? No,” Kleinhenz said. “Do we need the help? Yes. But the four people we do have will do their best to make things run smoothly.”

Because of the reduced staff, the amount of time it takes to correct computer-related problems may suffer a little bit, commissioner Carl Lienhoop said.

Priorities for addressing IT problems will place the Bartholomew County Emergency 911 Department at the top of the list, followed by the Sheriff’s Department, Lienhoop said.

Lienhoop described Wehmiller as the one person who was called in to fix computer problems at the sheriff’s department.

“I always considered myself the sixth IT person for the county, even though I wasn’t on their payroll,” Wehmiller said.

Wehmiller began his public-safety career as a dispatcher for a year-and-a-half, followed by six months as a corrections officer. He has spent the past 11 years as a full-time deputy.

The hiring of Wehmiller is part of the county’s philosophy to promote employees whenever possible, Lienhoop said.

Jeff Wehmiller

Jeff Wehmiller

Age: 37

New position: Bartholomew County’s director of information technology

Former position: Deputy with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.   

Previous experience: Emergency dispatcher and jailer.

Related education: Degree in computer electronics and engineering technology from ITT Technical Institute in Indianapolis.  

Family: Married with a 12-year-old son.     

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.