The Lake County Sheriff's Office administration consists of both sworn and civilian employees.
Sworn Command Staff
Sheriff Rob Howe
Capt. Chris Chwialkowski
Enforcement Division Commander
Captain Chwialkowski began his career with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in 1995. He was raised in Northern Minnesota and moved to California after joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1990. Over the years at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Chris’ assignments have included patrol deputy, field training officer, K-9 handler, special enforcement detail, SWAT team leader, and SWAT commander. Chris promoted to sergeant in 2006, lieutenant in 2012, and captain in 2015.
Chris has served as the enforcement division commander since 2012. As the enforcement division commander, he oversees patrol operations for the unincorporated areas of Lake County, court security for the Lake County Superior Courts, and marine patrol, which patrols and investigates crimes on the waters of Clear Lake. Chris and his wife, Jennifer, have resided in Kelseyville for the past 27 years.
Capt. Corey Paulich
Investigations Division Commander
Lieutenant Corey Paulich grew up in Northern California and began his career with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in 1995. Over the years at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Corey’s assignments have included patrol deputy, field training officer, SWAT team member, and major crimes detective.
Corey promoted to sergeant in 2009, and then lieutenant in 2015. Corey has served as the investigations division commander since 2015. As the investigations division commander, he oversees the major crimes unit, narcotics unit, property/evidence unit, as well as the coroner’s unit. In 2023, Corey promoted to Captain and oversees the Hill Road Correctional Facility.
Lt. Lucas Bingham
Lieutenant Bingham began his career with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in 1998. He was raised in Lake County and graduated from Middletown High School in 1993, after which he enlisted in the United States Air Force, Security Forces. Over the years at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Luke’s assignments have included patrol deputy, field training officer, Narcotics Detective, DEA Task Force Agent, Firearms Instructor/Range Master and SWAT team leader.
Luke promoted to sergeant in 2015 and lieutenant in 2019. Luke currently serves in the administration division and manages the Sheriff’s Office’s various training programs, community engagement, and special projects, and is currently assigned as the CRU/SWAT Commander.
Lt. Rich Ward
Professional Standards Division Commander
Lieutenant Rich Ward began his career with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in 2001. He was raised in the Bay Area and moved to Lake County after completing the Basic Law Enforcement Academy at SRJC. Over the years at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Rich’s assignments have included patrol deputy, K-9 handler, special enforcement detail, SWAT team member, and SWAT sniper. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2009 and lieutenant in 2017.
Rich has served as the professional standards division commander since 2017. As the professional standards division commander, he oversees the hiring of all new personnel, the records unit, the civil process, and internal affairs. He also serves as the Sheriff’s Tribal Liaison. Rich and his family reside in Kelseyville.
Lt. Gavin Wells
Communications Division Commander
Lieutenant Gavin Wells is a lifelong resident of Lake County having attended Clear Lake High School and Mendocino Community College. Gavin began his career with the Lake County Sheriff's Office in 2000. During his career his assignments have included patrol deputy, field training officer, marine patrol deputy, and search and rescue coordinator.
As the Communication Division Commander he is responsible for the Sheriff’s 9-1-1 Communications Center which receives all 9-1-1 calls from the unincorporated areas of Lake County and the City of Lakeport. The Sheriff’s Communications Center also provides law enforcement dispatching for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Lakeport Police Department. Gavin also over sees the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue program and is the Deputy Director of Emergency Services for the county.
Sheriff/Coroner Administrative Manager
Mary Beth started her career with the County of Lake in December 1980, working at the Department of Social Services before transferring to the Lake County Sheriff's Department in March 1995. She was born and raised in Sacramento, California, and graduated from Upper Lake High School before attending college in Santa Rosa.
Mary Beth is responsible for the preparation and oversight of the department's budget; accounts payable and receivable; purchasing; payroll, contracts; bids, grant applications, inmate accounts, personnel, workers' compensation, and fleet management and has been an integral part of Emergency Services since 2001. She credits her staff and co-workers with assuring that things run smoothly. she currently resides in Kelseyville near her son and grandson.
Office of Emergency Services Manager
Leah Sautelet has called Lake County home for almost 20 years. She joined the Sheriff’s Office in January 2022 after over 17 years working in Tribal communities. She has a B.A. in Communication from UC Davis and an A.A. in Psychology from Mendocino College.
She brings experience with grant writing and management, disaster response, mitigation and planning and program building. In her role as Emergency Services Manager, Leah is responsible for the day to day emergency management activities for the County and strives to help OES meet its mission of building community resilience. Outside of work Leah is the proud mom of a teen son and a Labrador retriever named “Oatie”.