Union County Coroner Curtis Butterfield confirmed that the Jerry Thomas found deceased at his El Dorado residence this morning by family members was in fact THE Jerry Thomas, former El Dorado Fire Department assistant chief and current director of the Union County Office of Emergency Management.
Thomas, who was 60, likely suffered a heart attack, Butterfield said. His death has been deemed natural and his body won’t be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for autopsy.
Prior to his appointment to the Office of Emergency Management in July 2010, Thomas worked as a truck driver for Union County — a position for which both Union County Judge Mike Loftin and former Union County Judge Bobby Edmonds agreed he was was vastly overqualified.
A 27-year veteran of the El Dorado Fire Department, Thomas was first hired on as an officer in 1976. In 1982, 1985 and 1989 he was thrice promoted, finally landing in the position of assistant chief, which he retained until his retirement in February 2003.
For more, see tomorrow’s News-Times.