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HENDERSONVILLE, NC (AP) — A western North Carolina sheriff who says he suffers from bipolar disorder has been granted permission for medical retirement.

Henderson County Commission Chairman Tommy Thompson said Monday that Sheriff Rick Davis’ request has been granted by the state retirement system.

The commission will ask the county Republican Party to recommend a replacement.

Davis announced last year that he had been diagnosed with the mental illness, and said it caused him to behave erratically on the job. A request for medical retirement must be approved by a panel of three doctors.

Davis has worked for the county for 21 years and has been sheriff since 2006.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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