Lee County Sheriff will not seek third term

Simonton’s resignation will be effective Nov. 2022

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DIXON — On Friday, Lee County Sheriff John Simonton announced he will not be seeking a third term. His resignation will be effective Nov. 30, 2022.

Simonton will be completing his 40th year in law enforcement in Aug. 2022. His career started with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office before transferring to the Illinois State Police in 1984 and retiring in 2010. He then worked three years with the Dixon Police Department and ran for and was elected sheriff in 2014. 

“This has been a great run,” Simonton said the release. “I have been fortunate to experience things in this career that I had never dreamed of, when starting in 1982. Although I had some control over the way in which my career unfolded, if I had the opportunity to see into the future, I could not have planned it better.”

In the release, Simonton said he is in “full support” of the next candidate for sheriff, Lt. Clay Whelan of the Dixon Police Department.

“I have had the opportunity to work with Clay prior to, during and after my tenure with the Dixon Police Department,” Simonton said. “He is the consummate professional and will continue to work with the command team of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, providing a seamless transition.” 

Simonton thanked his family, friends and the community for their support during his first two terms as sheriff.

“It has been a wonderful experience and I hope I have lived up to your expectations,” Simonton said.