Joey Kriete will take over as Grant County's new sheriff Thursday after being sworn in Tuesday. 

Superior Court Judge Tyson Hill administered the oath of office for Kriete, who was joined by family, friends and colleagues for the ceremony.

He would normally take over the position at the beginning of the year as a newly elected candidate, but current interim Sheriff Ryan Rectenwald is retiring this week.  

Kriete say Rectenwald has done a phenomenal job. 

"The improvement in morale in this office is just unbelievable since he's been in office," said Kriete. "He's done a great job of just, more or less, setting the table for me to jump on in and take over on the first, and he's made it a very smooth transition so far." 

Rectenwald was appointed interim sheriff back in July after former Sheriff Tom Jones retired. He'd previously been Grant County undersheriff since 2018, and originally joined the sheriff's office back in 1996, before moving to the Ephrata Police Department in 2003.                

Kriete is taking office after defeating former Mattawa Police Chief Joe Harris in this month's election for Grant County Sheriff. 

He's say's he wants to develop a bond with county residents. "We're delighted to provide the services that we can for the citizens of our county, and we want to provide them to the abilities that we can," Kriete said. "And that's one thing that I'm passionate about, is getting the community involved in the sheriff's office." 

KPQ news partner iFiberOne reports that Kriete announced staffing management assignment Monday: 

Sgt. John McMillan will serve as Grant County undersheriff. Beau Lamens will be the chief deputy of field operations and Gary Mansford will take over as chief deputy of investigations. Current Chief Deputy of Emergency Management Josh Sainsbury and Chief Deputy of Corrections Phil Coats will remain in their positions. 

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