Former Kansas City Chiefs player and retired Jackson County legislator Fred Arbanas will replace Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders until the Legislature decides who it wants to fill that job for the remainder of 2016.
Arbanas was on the Legislature for 40 years, leaving office at the end of 2013. He will be sworn in when Sanders’ resignation becomes effective at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Sanders made the announcement late Monday afternoon, four days after he had expected to vacate the job he’s held for nine years. Sanders, a Democrat, announced before Christmas that he was leaving the elected position effective Dec. 31, three years before his term runs out.
Sanders said he was leaving purely for personal reasons and that the decision had nothing to do with twin federal investigations: one of alleged physical abuses of inmates by guards at the county jail and the other about a consulting contract.
In announcing his resignation, Sanders said longtime county Legislator Dennis Waits was his pick to run county government until the Legislature made its selection.
But Waits, who has represented the 3rd District for 29 years, pulled out at the last minute, which left Sanders in charge until he could find someone else as an interim replacement.
The Legislature has 30 days to make its pick, according to the county charter. Legislators are expected to choose freshman legislator and former Royal Frank White to fill the job until next Dec. 31.
In November, voters will decide who will fill the job for the final two years of Sanders’ term, which goes until the end of 2018. White has not decided whether he will run for the $145,000-a-year job, his spokesman said.
Also Monday, county legislators unanimously chose Democrat Crystal Williams to chair the body in 2016, the first woman to hold that position. She is in her second term representing the 2nd District at-large.
As chairwoman, she will run the weekly meetings and make committee assignments.
The job rotates among the nine legislators each January.
Theresa Galvin, the Republican representing the 6th District, was elected vice chair, also unanimously.