EASTON, Pa. -

After losing a bid to get his job back in court, former Northampton County Sheriff Randall P. Miller will apply to be re-hired.

On Thursday, Northampton County Judge Craig A. Dally denied Miller's request for a preliminary injunction to stop the county from hiring someone else as the next sheriff.

On Friday afternoon, Atty. Jason Schiffer, Miller's lawyer, said the lawsuit will be dropped and Miller will be submitting his application for the still-vacant position.

In a news release, Schiffer said the judge's ruling does not put an end to the lawsuit but raises questions whether continuing it "would yield the remedy we seek."

"After careful deliberation, we have decided it is in the best interests of Mr. Miller, and the community he served, if he steps aside."

Schiffer also said: "We are also announcing that Randall Miller will be submitting his application for consideration to fill the vacant seat."

Miller had been sheriff since December 2009 but was fired last January by John Brown, the newly-elected county executive.

Miller argued Brown did not have the legal right to do that, because it violated the county's home rule charter, and that he was wrongly terminated without cause.

Miller sued to be reinstated, with back pay from the date of his discharge.

In his statement, Schiffer said the new county executive has acknowledged that Miller "performed his job in an exemplary manner."

Said Schiffer: "No other conclusion can be drawn than that Sheriff Miller was relieved of his position for purely political reasons.  Any position that is as vital to the safety and welfare of the citizens of Northamtpon County, and the security of the courthouse, should not be subjected to such politics."

Brown is a Republican; Miller is a Democrat.

Schiffer said Miller hopes his application will be considered on its merits, not on his current political affiliation, "and he is confident that when his application is considered in this light, he will soon return to the job he loves."