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story.lead_photo.caption Michael R. Dixon, left, stands with his attorney Grant Boyd at Dixon's arraignment on Monday, May 2, 2016, at the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia, Mo. Photo by Associated Press / California Democrat.

LINN, Mo. — Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon Jr. resigned late Thursday, and an interim sheriff was named Friday morning.

Dixon gave no reason for his resignation, in a one-sentence letter addressed and delivered to Presiding Commissioner Dave Dudenhoeffer: "Effective immediately, May 26th, 2016, I formally resign from the Office of Sheriff in the County of Osage, Missouri. Thank you."

Dixon and Dudenhoeffer both signed the letter.

Osage County Clerk Patrick Steele confirmed Dixon's resignation Friday morning, and reported the County Commission appointed Lt. Ron Dishman — Dixon's chief deputy — as the interim sheriff for the rest of the year.

Dixon didn't file for re-election earlier this year, and Dishman is not one of the four candidates running to succeed the first-term sheriff, Republicans Mike Bonham and Robert Dodson and Democrats Chris Albert and William Cody Blackford are seeking the post.

Dixon's resignation came less than 24 hours before he was scheduled to appear in St. Louis County Circuit Court on a probation violation complaint by Special Prosecutor Brendon Fox.

However, that 1:30 p.m. hearing was canceled Friday.

Fox told the News Tribune that Dixon's attorney, Travis Noble, of Clayton, "indicated he was on his way (out-of-state) for a family emergency."

The hearing was rescheduled for 1 p.m. July 15.

Meanwhile, Dixon's two-year probation from a 2013 harassment case — originally set to expire July 1 — remains on hold, and Judge Ellen Ribaudo made no changes to it Friday.

Under an agreement, Dixon pleaded guilty July 1, 2014, to a misdemeanor harassment charge involving incidents in Belle in 2012 and 2013.

Special Prosecutor John Beger had charged Dixon with a felony and several misdemeanors, all reportedly connected with a female Belle police officer Dixon had supervised when he was the city's marshal, before becoming Osage County sheriff on Jan. 1, 2013.

Now-retired St. Louis County Judge Richard Bresnahan, who had been appointed as a special judge in the case, suspended the imposition of any sentence and ordered Dixon to serve the two-year supervised probation.

Among several special conditions Dixon faces was to "not possess or consume alcohol nor be in a business the primary purpose of which is the sale of alcohol, except to carry out (the) duties (of) a law enforcement officer."

However, on April 8 this year, Boone County prosecutors charged Dixon with unlawful use of a weapon, accusing him of pointing a weapon at another person in a Hartsburg bar March 5, after drinking alcohol there.

The charge is a Class D felony. If he's convicted, Dixon automatically would lose his state peace officer's license, and he could be sentenced to up to four years in prison.

Dixon pleaded not guilty May 2, and is to appear again before in Boone County Circuit Court on June 7 for a status hearing. His preliminary hearing on the Boone County charge hasn't been set.

Earlier coverage:

Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon Jr. resigned late Thursday afternoon, and an interim sheriff has already been named.

Osage County Clerk Patrick Steele confirmed Friday that Dixon had resigned and the Osage County Commission had appointed Lt. Ron Dishman as the interim sheriff for the remainder of the year.

Dixon was charged April 8 with unlawful use of a weapon, accusing him of pointing a weapon at another person on March 5 in a Hartsburg bar and was scheduled to appear in St. Louis County Circuit Court at 1:30 p.m. today, but that hearing has been continued.

A new hearing date has yet to be announced. 

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