Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp will resign his post on Thursday after it came to light he maintained an inappropriate relationship with another employee, reports the Kansas City Star.
Christine Lynde, an administrative assistant in the sheriff’s office, has a lawsuit pending against Jackson County for harassment. Sharp and Lynde continued their romantic and financial relationship after the suit was filed.
“I allowed my judgment as Sheriff and my obligations to Jackson County be clouded because of my feelings for someone I cared deeply for in the past. I am accountable for my actions,” Sharp said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
A department spokesman confirmed that Sharp submitted his letter of resignation to take effect at the end of the day Thursday.
In a 2016 lawsuit, Lynde alleged sexual harassment by two female co-workers and Col. Hugh Mills, Sharp’s second in command.
In 2017, Sharp helped Lynde with a down payment on a house — both names are on the deed.
Sharp also approve promotion and pay raises for Lynde, increasing her hourly compensation from $10 to $25 an hour. She also received perks other county employees didn’t get. They also took trips together — personal and professional — on the taxpayer’s dime.
“While the allegations that have come to light are extremely troubling, today’s resignation satisfies the state’s interest regarding a potential ‘quo warranto’ action to remove the Sheriff from office,” Jackson County Prosecutor Peters Baker’s statement said. “We will continue to monitor this matter and take any appropriate action in the future.”