Former Fresno County Sheriff Hal McKinney remembered

FRESNO, Calif.

Former Fresno County Sheriff Hal McKinney was remembered as an effective leader who preferred to lead without being in the spotlight. Although he loved being the sheriff, he didn't like the politics that came with the job.

Thursday another former sheriff told the crowd a memorable story about the day he took over for McKinney.

"That day I got sworn in his office, standing right next to him and then 20 minutes, 30 minutes later he hands me a subpoena and says see ya in court and he takes his name and scratches it out and puts my name -- so I mean, you could never outdo him. You could never out think him, out do him," said Former Fresno County Sheriff Steve Magarian.

Close to 500 people listened as loved ones and law enforcement officers reflected on a life filled with accomplishments and accolades. Current got emotional at times recalling the influence McKinney had on her career. He was the one who pinned Sheriff Margaret Mims on her badge 26-years ago.

"He actually in the early 80's it was a risk to hire women in law enforcement. It didn't happen very often. And I appreciated that opportunity so very much. Because he didn't hire me the first time I applied, he hired me the third time so I had to persevere. And when I tested high enough he said ok, I'm going to give you this opportunity," said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

McKinney's son said his father lived by example. He instilled in his children tools they would need to succeed with him and his absence. His son ended on a note few expected, but everyone appreciated.

"I want to clear something up that's been circulating for years. Lot of speculation and rumor, my dad never ever dyed his hair," said Jame McKinney.

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