WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — In a letter posted online, West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office administrative employee Zack Simmers says he’s taking leave from the sheriff’s office.

Simmers, who works for WBRSO as a public information officer and liaison to the district attorney’s office, said his last day will be Feb. 15.

“Reaching this point has taken a lot of thought, soul searching and discussions with my wife, family and friends for two reasons. First, I believe the Sheriff’s Office needs to move in a new direction, and transparency is needed to re-gain the trust and support of the citizens of West Baton Rouge Parish.”

His second reason is his candidacy for sheriff. He said taking a leave from WBRSO is the “right thing to do” to focus on campaigning.