Smith County Sheriff Chief Deputy Deal Folmar was recognized Tuesday for 35 years of service to the county.

Sheriff Larry Smith said when he first became sheriff five years ago, he knew he had a huge job to do. His almost 400 employees were mostly serving under Folmar, who he has since promoted from major to chief deputy. Smith called Folmar an honest and courteous man with a lot of integrity.

“I don’t know how we could make it without him,” he said. “He does an outstanding job.”

Folmar thanked everyone in the Smith County Commissioners Courtroom.

“It’s been a great ride, and I look forward to a few more good years,” Folmar said.

Gary Middleton was also recognized during Commissioners Court for 20 years of service to the county.

Middleton worked for the Sheriff’s Office for most of his years with the county, but now works as deputy constable for Precinct 5. He has also worked for the Tyler Police Department.

“On behalf of our office, we are very appreciative to have Gary,” Pct. 5 Constable Jeff McClenny said. “We thank you for your service to the county, and I appreciate your service.”

Valerie Rios was also recognized for working five years for the county.

County Clerk Karen Phillips said Ms. Rios is an accountant for her office, and works daily to make the processes run more smoothly and efficiently. Ms. Rios has a sunny outlook, a kind word and a smile for everyone who comes into the office, Mrs. Phillips said.

Additional employees recognized this month for their years of dedicated service to the citizens of Smith County, but who were not in court, include:

15 Years: Eric Muller, Adult Probation.

10 Years: Catherine Black, Tax Office.

5 Years: Lauren Fite, Wynthia Savering and Sean McClanahan, Sheriff’s Department; Kenneth Clark and James Square, Road and Bridge Department.