Effingham County's Sheriff Speaks Out about MS Battle

The Effingham County Sheriff says he's keeping his job. It's been one year since Jay Space publicly admitted he has multiple sclerosis. Since then, some have questioned the 40 year old Sheriff's his ability to do his job. The Georgia Sheriff's Association has asked Governor Barnes' Office to look into his health. Sheriff Space says he welcomes the inquiry. He told WTOC he wants to put the issue behind him and continue his work as sheriff of Effingham County.

"The job means a lot to me," explains Sheriff Jay Space, "because there's an awful lot that needs to be done in this county."

Sheriff Space says his health should not be an issue. "I feel fine and my health is doing very well at this point," he says, "very well."

Space's critics disagree. Some have concerns about his battle with multiple sclerosis and his ability to perform as sheriff. Earlier this year, the Effingham County Commission asked for a letter from his doctor. In a written statement, Sheriff Space's neurologist stated "...his neurologic examination is currently excellent. I see nothing which would prohibit mister space from engaging in his normal occupational activities. I specifically see nothing which would preclude him from driving without restriction at this time."

Space says if his health were to take a turn for the worse and he felt he could no longer do his job, he would step down. "If I were not able to come to work and perform. It if got to that point, yes I would."

Jay Space still has two years left in his term as Effingham County Sheriff. He says the biggest problem his MS poses is trying to get enough sleep. Space says that can affect his physical symptoms like balance and speech; however, he says it does not affect his mental abilities.