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Axelson resigns as Rooks County sheriff





STOCKTON -- Randy Axelson -- the embattled Rooks County sheriff who has been on administrative leave since nine felony counts of methamphetamine distribution were filed against him -- has resigned.

Axelson presented his notarized resignation to Rooks County Clerk Clara Strutt Thursday morning, effective at noon. A clerk in her office confirmed Strutt had received it.

Axelson, 43, remains free on $45,000 bond after his appearance in Ellis County District Court on the drug-related charges.

Formal charges against him were filed in early January by Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees, who was appointed a special prosecutor in the case by Rooks County Attorney Ed Hageman.

He has continued to receive pay as sheriff even though he has been on leave.

Of the nine charges against him, five involve distribution of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of school property -- Stockton High School.

Those charges carry a stiffer penalty than the four remaining charges of distribution of methamphetamine.

It's unclear what prompted Axelson to submit his resignation Thursday.

Strutt wasn't immediately available for comment, and Drees declined to say anything further about the case. Axelson's attorney, Kurt Kerns of Wichita, could not be reached for comment.

Drees only would say Axelson's next court hearing in the criminal case is scheduled for late July, when he is expected to be arraigned.