Heroux and Hodgson Break Bread, Begin Sheriff’s Office Transition
After a hotly contested and often acrimonious election for Bristol County Sheriff that saw Democrat Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux narrowly defeat longtime Republican Sheriff Tom Hodgson, the two met for the first time in person as outgoing sheriff and sheriff-elect to begin the transition of power.
Heroux and Hodgson met Tuesday morning on Heroux's home turf of Attleboro for a breakfast which, according to both men, lasted approximately two hours.
Heroux recently submitted a letter the Attleboro City Council marking his date and time for resignation as Mayor of Attleboro for January 3 at 11:59 p.m., which is exactly one minute before he formally becomes the next Bristol County Sheriff.
Bristol County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jonathan Darling told WBSM that the topics that were discussed between Heroux and Hodgson were their shared experiences in corrections, managing staff in their respective current offices as mayor and sheriff, and the transition.
Darling added that Hodgson offered to help Heroux transition in any way that he can.
The next step in the transition process, according to Darling, is to set a date for Heroux to tour the BSCO facilities in Dartmouth and New Bedford and meet the staff. They expect this to occur in the next few weeks and before the holidays.
Darling also noted that during the conversation Heroux reiterated previous statements he made on WBSM's SouthCoast Tonight that he would not uproot the operations of the BCSO by making immediate dramatic programming or staffing changes upon becoming sheriff.
The formal rivals have appeared to put the rhetoric and rancor of the election behind them to focus on ensuring a smooth and effective transition.
"The sheriff was very cordial and friendly," Heroux told WBSM. "The first thing he said to me was 'congratulations.'"
"We then went on to have a nice two-hour conversation where he told me some of the challenges that I might experience," Heroux said. "I told him about similar challenges that I’ve had in my capacity as mayor and how I navigate those. We commiserated on how rumors are endemic in this business."
Hodgson was also complimentary of Heroux and expressed confidence in the BCSO operations going forward.
“The future of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office is in good hands," Hodgson told WBSM. "Mayor Heroux and I had a very good meeting this morning and both pledged to work together to make the transition as smooth as possible.”