PDT Staff Writer

Guiding his grandaughter, Kylee, through the windowed hallway that's been his second home for 26 years, Chief Deputy Hughie Blair recalls his passion for law enforcement.
Its' something that's not diminished since his junior year at Portsmouth High School.
"We got to ride with the police department, and i was hooked," he said, recalling the program that allowed him to shadow officers in 1967.
Soon after, in 1971, Blair took a job for then-Sheriff John Knauff, and, after stints in the prosecutor's office, Blair remained with the sheriff's office for more than a quarter century, making him not just the oldest but the longest-serving member in the office.
Saturday marks the deputy's retirement, a day that co-workers say will change the face of the Scioto County Sheriff's Office.
Blair brings a softer, more personalized side to the office, co-workes said.
Sheriff Marty Donini, who has worked with the 54-year-old since 1978, said he knows his work load will double with his friend out of the office.
More importantly, he said, is the heart Blair brings to the job. It's made of gold.
"He's the comedian. He's always got something to cheer everyone up with," he said.
Blair's personable nature - and the way he makes friends with nearly everyone he meets - has helped out the office in different ways.
Motivation, spontaneity and communication rounds out the list.
"He's a motivator," said Captain David Hall, remembering the times Blair has walked in the River Days Parade or played Santa Claus to kids in the county.


Marty V. Donini, Sheriff
Scioto County Sheriff's Office
1025 Sixteenth Street
Portsmouth, Ohio 45662

Civil Division........740-355-8269

E-Mail scso@sciotocountysheriff.com


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As reported in:

November 25, 2004
Deputy leaves after 20 years
Blair's love for fighting crime, and his faith in God, helped bring him back from a personal tragedy. In 2001, he lost a leg in a motorcycle accident, but was back to work within six months.
It's his dedication Hall admires.
Professionally, Blair's personality makes him the perfect man for many jobs. When specific cases, especially those dealing with scams on the elderly come in, he jumps on them.
"Some cases need more attention than others, but Hughie always grabs them up," said Captain Miller. "It just shows the kind of person he is and how important people are to him.
And, judging by the goodbye celebrations at the county courthouse Wednesday, he's important to people, too.
The Scioto County Commissioners passed a resolution congratulating Blair on his retirement and service, and community members flocked to the courthouse for the ceremony.
As Blair hugged a number of people with whom he's worked over the years, and Donini awarded him with the first ever retired duty weapon, the deputy teared up.
Blair isn't quite done. As of Saturday, Donini will consider him a special deputy continuing to work on unsolved cases that remain close to him.
That's something the Sheriff is proud of.
While Blair has been cleaning out his office, he makes certain other officers remember the unsolved cases - some considered "cold cases" from the 1970's.
His replacement, who Donini says will be difficult to find, has yet to be determined.
ANNA L. MALLORY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, Ext.237, or anna@portsmouth-dailytimes.com.
Chief Deputy Hughie Blair (Retired)
1971 ~ 2004