By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“Bremerton is in my rear-view mirror right now,” Hernandez said Thursday.
“From here on in, I am going to be the best sheriff that I can possibly be.”
Hernandez, 42, said he was told privately that another of the five finalists for the job was chosen after candidates were interviewed earlier this week.
Becky Hasart, Bremerton's director of financial services, said a candidate was selected and is negotiating with the city, but she would not identify him.
“We are in the process of negotiations with the chosen candidate, but we will not provide any identification until they are completed,” she said.
“All five candidates were excellent choices.”
The selected candidate will replace Police Chief Craig Rogers, who will retire in February. Pay will be between $116,475 and $141,914 a year.
The other finalists were former King County Sheriff Steven Strachan, State Patrol Capts. Robert Johnson and C. Stephen Sutton, and former Santa Paula, Calif., Chief Stephen MacKinnon.
Hernandez, a 1990 graduate of Bremerton High School, said he applied for the position only because it was in his hometown, and his family lives there.
“I would not consider applying anywhere else,” he said.
Last week, Hernandez, who is paid $83,965 annually, said he is happy working in Jefferson County, where he had planned to retire if the Bremerton job was not offered to him.
Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.