St. Joseph County Commissioner Deb Fleming responds to retirement rumors

County Commissioner Deb Fleming said she has no immediate plans to retire.

She told reporters after a meeting of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday morning that she was meeting with doctors to assess a medical condition and could undergo surgery this summer.

But, the District 3 commissioner said, she did not provide any information to the county clerk‘s office requesting leave or retirement.

Will Deb Fleming retire? Republican Party officials receive retirement letter


Fleming said she had seen doctors about a condition that was causing her to droop around her eyes, and she had also recently had hearing problems. Otherwise, the commissioner said, she is in good health.

“There are only two things,” Fleming said. “Woke up this morning and jogged…I love trying to be healthy.”

She said doctors had mentioned surgery, which may require some recovery time.

“I might have to take some time off,” Fleming told The Tribune. “If I have surgery, I could take a few weeks and you can’t wear contacts.”

She said it could be June before she can have surgery, but she is still seeing doctors.

Last week, Republican Party officials told reporters they had received a letter from Fleming announcing his intention to take a leave of absence or retire.

Fleming said Tuesday that she had confided in others that she was considering a procedure.

She said Republican Party Chairman Zach Potts requested the letter, which said the commissioner planned to retire to spend time with family and take medical leave. The letter did not include any time or date for a possible furlough or retirement.

Potts told The Tribune last week that the letter was delivered to Republican county headquarters late last month. He did not respond to a call from The Tribune on Tuesday afternoon.

Fleming, who did not respond to calls from The Tribune last week, told reporters Tuesday that she had signed the letter but was unaware it would be delivered to anyone.

She said she doesn’t have any specific plans yet, but will contact the county’s human resources team when they schedule her surgery.

Email Carley Lanich, education reporter for the South Bend Tribune, at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter: @carleylanich.

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