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Respect is key for Reiff

By: Alison Henderson//December 3, 2015//

Respect is key for Reiff

By: Alison Henderson//December 3, 2015//

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Sheila Reiff - Walworth County Clerk’s Office
Sheila Reiff –
Walworth County Clerk’s Office

With a career that spans decades, Sheila Reiff has had a substantial, rippling influence on the court system and the community at large.

Reiff, who was elected as Walworth County clerk of circuit court in 1995, is currently serving her eighth term, and also holds the titles of register in probate, probate registrar and probate commissioner.

She said that the experiences she has had in her job, such as helping lead the legislative committee and having a say on new legislation, have given her some of her biggest accomplishments.

“On a given day there’s always something new that we’ve never had to deal with before,” Reiff said, adding that she enjoys problem solving, constant change and working with others.

Her devotion to her role is observed by many and her breadth of successes stretches far beyond the maintenance of accurate records. Her notable achievements include the putting into use of an audio-recording system for family court commissioners, working with judges to establish contracts for county-appointed attorneys and her involvement in state and national groups, such as the National Association of Court Management.

State Public Defender, Kelli Thompson, noted that local citizens have benefited greatly from Reiff’s commitment to the bottom line and have recognized her effectiveness through repeated public elections.

In seeking to simplify court processes, control costs and strengthen collaboration, Reiff demonstrates a thorough consideration for both the direct and indirect influence of her choices. For example, she led a video-conferencing project for jails, mental-health centers and juvenile centers. While her work made court processes more efficient, it also cut costs and staffing time for law enforcement, who no longer had to transport mental-health patients and inmates to and from the courthouse.

“She understands that a system that works together works best,” said Judge Phillip Koss in a statement, adding that he has known Reiff throughout his career. “I see firsthand that she takes the role of a public servant seriously.”

She strives for fairness and fosters a respect that is reciprocated by her staff, her peers and even the policymakers she deals with during legislative hearings.

“Sheila’s track record over two full decades is extremely impressive and perhaps is unmatched in the state,” Thompson said in a statement.

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