Montco sheriff hires close friend as deputy

Posted: May 17, 2014

New Montgomery County Sheriff Russell J. Bono has chosen the man who for years was his second-in-command at the Norristown Police Department as his second-in-command in the sheriff's office.

At a news conference on the courthouse steps Thursday, Bono introduced Willie Richet as his new chief deputy, saying, "I literally trust this person with my life."

The two have known each other for about 40 years. They rose through the ranks after partnering as officers in the Norristown Police Department. When Bono became police chief, Richet was his top aide.

Since then, it's been a whirl of retirement and un-retirement for Bono, 67, and Richet, 65.

Richet was about to retire last year when he was asked to serve as interim chief after Bono retired from Norristown.

Bono came out of retirement this year when Sheriff Eileen Whalon Behr left for a private-sector job, and after the legislature approved his nomination to succeed her.

Richet, who did retire from the Norristown department in November, now has left leisure time behind to be Bono's chief deputy and oversee daily operations of the sheriff's office.

Besides drawing pensions through Norristown, Bono will earn an annual salary of $79,160 through the county, and Richet will make $67,205. - Carolyn Davis

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