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What Do We Have With Donald Valenza As Sheriff

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 9199

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jul 31 2014 9:20 AM

 HOUSTON COUNTY:    On August 18 the Houston County will begin a chapter with a new Sheriff of Houston County.

The old chapter will close as Andy Hughes moves from Houston County Sheriff to a new job serving the entire State of Alabama.

We have enjoyed the tenure of Andy Hughes as Sheriff. While all previous Sheriff’s have brought levels of service and improved service to the Sheriff Office, Hughes brought many changes.

Hughes brought a new level of enforcement professionalism to the department. Hughes commanded with a hands on approach, leading the department to one that takes lead in enforcement and into action.

Hughes has been a good Sheriff and changed the image of the Houston County Sheriff Department.


At 12:01 AM on August 18, 2014, Donald Valenza will begin the reigns of Houston County Sheriff. Beginning in 1979, Donald Valenza, started as a jailer with Houston County Sheriff A.B. Clark. 

Sheriff Clark sent Valenza to the police academy and promoted him to Deputy.

Valenza’s tenure started when you were the only deputy on duty in Houston County in the middle of the night. It was the deputy which controlled the situation where he and others were safe.

Valenza’s tenure was during the time you could not call for a backup, because you were the primary and back up.

As times changed, Valenza grew with those changes. He was worked in every division of the Sheriff Department, with exception of communications. But he realizes that communications is the vital link of the department.

As an investigator, Valenza was detailed. He made sure the crime scenes were documented, worked slow and methodically. That all leads were worked and a crime investigation did not stop as long as leads existed.

When Sheriff Andy Hughes was elected Houston County Sheriff, he selected Donald Valenza has is number 2 man. That selection was because Hughes knew Donald Valenza, his work ethic, his dedication, but most importantly two primary factors. Donald Valenza was a good law enforcement officer, and a HONEST law enforcement officer.

Never in four sheriff’s and since 1979, has Donald Valenza’s honesty ever been in question. Hughes as a newly elected Sheriff recognized that fact and wanted Valenza by his side.


When Andy Hughes resigned, Donald Valenza had taken a few days off. He was with his daughter who was playing softball.

Reports are Sheriff Hughes called Donald and said that he had hoped he would be back where he could tell him in person that he was resigning as Sheriff.  Hughes did not want to tell him on the phone but the situation presented itself where he had to. Hughes told no one until the day he resigned, to include his number 2 man.

According to sources, when Hughes told Valenza of his resignation, the color left his face and he stood at a great distance from the game. Those close to him knew something was wrong.

All everyone heard was, Valenza does not want to be Sheriff.

When Valenza was asked the next day, all he would say is, I have to talk to Andy. I have to talk to Andy.

But Donald, do you understand that Andy Hughes has resigned as Sheriff. He is leaving. Do you want to be Sheriff? Valenza, I have to talk to Andy.

Later that day and after a conversation with Andy, it was only then that Donald Valenza decided to seek Houston County Sheriff.


The answer is real simple.

Valenza has been loyal to all four Sheriff’s he has served.

He was Andy Hughes number 2 man. And one thing that Andy Hughes never had to question. Was Donald Valenza loyal.

Under no circumstances would Donald Valenza undermind Andy Hughes as Sheriff. At no time would he attempt to put himself in a position that he gained any power over Hughes or any Sheriff he served in an effort to oppose them for Sheriff.

Valenza was loyal and wanted a face to face conversation. He felt deciding to seek the appointment of Sheriff was still not being loyal to his boss until they talked.

After they talked, it was then that Donald Valenza decided to seek the office of Sheriff.



That sums it up.  Honesty.

As Deputy, through the ranks to Chief Deputy, Donald Valenza has been loyal to the Sheriff he served. And through that loyalty to the people of Houston County, he has been loyal.

What Donald Valenza understands now as Sheriff, his loyalty is to the citiznes of Houston County.

He will be professional. A man you want by your side in combat. A man that has a cool head. A thinker. A professional man. A loyal man.

And most importantly, a honest man.;


Donald Valenza is a caring person. He is a friendly person.

But he is one that sometimes might not notice you. Your reaction might be, he is not friendly or mad at me.

That is not the case at all.

Donald is a thinker. He runs details, things over in his mind. He thinks of cases and leads, and possible conclusions over cases.

When you see Donald, he is not mad and not intentionally ignoring. It is his personality.

But even if in thought, you say…Donald…he goes..oh hey… and like the thought process and not seeing you is over. It was just he was in deep thought over something.

So if you see Valenza and he is in thought, be the first to say Donald.

It is not that he is stuck up or rude, just in thought.

Because we have a Sheriff in Valenza that will take time and help you. You might not like his answer, but he will be there for you.

His answer will be honest and direct.

First Funeral

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