The sheriff at the Auglaize County Jail said goodbye to a long-time employee this week, and he filled his shoes with another familiar face.
Mark Fuerstenau, administrative captain of the 72-bed facility, took over Monday as executive director of the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation (WORTH) Center in Lima. On Thursday, Lisa Wright was hired to fill his former position.
Fuerstenau came to the county shortly after the new Auglaize County Law Enforcement Center, including the jail, opened in 1999. He served as training, investigations and inspections supervisor for seven years before taking over as administrative captain the last two years.
Wright had served as his top assistant and the two worked closely together before Fuerstenau took the new assignment.
“I liked working there very much and I had the fortune to work for two very good sheriffs,” Fuerstenau said. “The people there were super so it wasn’t an easy decision to leave.”
Fuerstenau said while many aspects of what he does day-to-day will not change, there still are dif-
“Jail is usually an entry point,” Fuerstenau said. “Places like the WORTH Center are for people who have been through the judicial process. At the WORTH Center we deal strictly with felons, most of them are dealing with substance abuse problems. Treatment is the primary objective at WORTH.”
Fuerstenau said while he was sad to leave the Auglaize County position, he was pleased to see his former workmate be named to the position. Wright has worked at the Auglaize County facility since 2004.
“I don’t think they could have possibly found a better person,” Fuerstenau said. “She will do an excellent job.”
Wright has an associate’s degree in criminal justice and is also certified in jail administration and mid-level management. She lives in Cloverdale and is married with six children.
“I was hoping for something like this someday but I didn’t expect it to happen this fast,” Wright said. “But I am really excited and ready to take on the new challenge.”
Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon said the county hated to see Fuerstenau go, but that Wright is a very capable replacement.
“We hate to lose him,” Solomon said. “You hate to lose nine years. He come out here shortly after we moved and he has been very personable and was an outstanding employee. He took care of a multitude of things here and was well-respected. That was why they pursued him, because of the job he done here.”
He said the transition should go smoothly since Wright and Fuerstenau worked closely together.
“I am very satisfied with the choice of Wright to take over as administrative captain,” Solomon said. “She is very capable. She is very educated and knowledgeable.”