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Sheriff McLean passes late Monday evening

Houghton County Sheriff Brian McLean was rushed to UP Health System-Marquette Saturday night after suffering an accident at his home. According to a release from the sheriff’s office, he passed away at approximately 8 p.m. Monday evening. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette file photo)

HOUGHTON — Houghton County Sheriff Brian McLean remained in critical condition Monday afternoon, more than a day after an accident at his home led to him being hospitalized. According to a release from the sheriff’s office, he passed away at approximately 8 p.m. Monday evening.

The sheriff’s office posted an image on Facebook of a badge with “sheriff” blacked out. The post received nearly 100 comments mourning McLean’s passing within a half-hour of going live at 8:30 p.m.

“The sudden and tragic loss of this man, who was both a leader and a friend, is hard to process,” said Undersheriff Kevin Coppo. “Our hearts go out to his family during this truly difficult time.”

McLean suffered significant injuries in the accident, the sheriff’s office said in a statement Monday morning. Neighbors administered life-saving measures late Saturday night until emergency medical personnel arrived. He was airlifted to UP Health System-Marquette, where he remained Monday afternoon until his passing.

McLean had served as sheriff since being elected to his first four-year term in 1996. At the time of his passing, he was the longest serving sheriff in the state of Michigan.

“I’ve reached that age where I could say, ‘Well, I’ll collect my Social Security and just retire and walk away,'” he said in a Gazette interview during his most recent re-election campaign in 2020. “But it’s nice to be part of something meaningful. And I still have the drive to keep going.”

Details regarding funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.

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