Howard Buffett's New Job: Sheriff

By Shayndi Raice Features Dow Jones Newswires

Howard Buffett, son of legendary investor Warren Buffett, is adding a new title to his unusual resume: sheriff.

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The younger Mr. Buffett is succeeding the retiring sheriff of Macon County in central Illinois, the county said Friday. In addition to being in line to take over for his father as nonexecutive chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Mr. Buffett has served since 2014 as undersheriff of Macon County.

That role is one of a long list that are far afield from his father's business interests. Mr. Buffett, 62 years old, is also a corn and soybean farmer, a conservationist and philanthropist.

A college dropout, Mr. Buffett has traveled the globe as a photographer and wrote several books on poverty, wildlife and conservation. He also worked for a short time as an executive at Archer Daniel Midlands Co., which brought him to Decatur, Ill., in 1992. He has served on several corporate boards as well.

"Knowing that Howard will occupy my vacancy in a professional and competent manner makes the decision to leave this position less difficult," said Thomas Schneider, the Macon County sheriff who announced his retirement Friday. Mr. Schneider announced in April that he wouldn't seek reelection when his term expires in December. Three candidates have said they plan to run in the coming election to succeed him. Mr. Buffett isn't one of them.

The news release announcing Mr. Buffett's new role didn't say why Mr. Schneider is stepping down before his term expires, and he hasn't responded to requests for comment.

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Mr. Buffett's interest in law enforcement began years ago. He received certification to serve as an auxiliary deputy sheriff in 2012, and has since completed over 3,300 hours of training.

In his role, which is unpaid, Mr. Buffett has implemented a variety of community training initiatives including verbal judo training and a "K9 facility" training program, according to the Macon County Sheriff's website.

He has 76 weapons qualifications, according to the release. He has received numerous awards recognizing his commitment to law enforcement, including a 2017 award from the Illinois Sheriff's Association.

Mr. Buffett was to be sworn in as sheriff on Friday afternoon and immediately begin full-time office hours, according to the release.

Mr. Buffett will oversee the department's four divisions -- patrol, corrections, court security and records -- and its 150 employees.

Mr. Buffett declined to comment beyond Friday's release. In a 2014 interview with The Wall Street Journal, he described himself as "mellowing but still kind of wild." He said his interest in law enforcement was a "whole new learning experience."

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 15, 2017 14:24 ET (18:24 GMT)