Section 12. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the sheriff of an abolished county, including Franklin county, in office immediately before the transfer date, and, in Hampshire county, on September 1, 1998 shall become an employee of the commonwealth with salary to be paid by the commonwealth. The sheriff shall remain an elected official under the provisions of section 159 of chapter 54. Said sheriff shall operate pursuant to the provisions of chapter 37. Such sheriff shall retain administrative and operational control over the office of the sheriff, the jail, and the house of correction as of the transfer date. Said administrative and operational control shall include, but not be limited to, the procurement of supplies, services and equipment.