Joe Lester is retiring from his position as announced as Cleveland County Sheriff.
Lester announced submitted his retirement letter on Monday, Undersheriff Rhett Burnett confirmed with News 9.
The announcement comes after a state audit found “major” financial mistakes at the sheriff’s office. The audit came after Lester filed a lawsuit against the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners.
The board met Monday night to discuss plans for replacing Lester. Qualified applicants are asked to apply for interim sheriff by Friday.
“We regret that the situation has come to this,” said Commissioner Darry Stacy, “Cleveland County has bright future and we are committed to working with the fine men and women in the Cleveland County Sheriff’s office to ensure a smooth transition.”