IOW sheriff’s office employees will have to reapply for jobs

Published 11:11 am Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ISLE OF WIGHT—The 43 deputies, five dispatchers and two staff members with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office will have to reapply for their jobs before Mark Marshall takes over as sheriff in January.

Employees with the Southampton County Sheriff Office will not have to reapply, but all will be reappointed by sheriff-elect Jack Stutts.

The Smithfield Police Chief, Marshall unseated Sheriff Charlie Phelps during the Nov. 8 election. Stutts, the chief deputy with Southampton, defeated hopefuls David Holland and Brian Marvel for the seat held by retiring Sheriff Vernie Francis.

Reappointing staff, or having staff reapply for positions is not unusual because staff members and deputies serve at a sheriff’s pleasure, said Virginia Sheriff Association Executive Director John W. Jones.

He said all new sheriffs are required to appoint staff members, but the difference between the Isle of Wight and Southampton departments is that Stutts had previously been with the department before being elected and Marshall is coming in from another agency.

“I am hopeful that most employees want to be a part of the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office and this administration,” Marshall said.

He said hiring would begin internally, but he has received interest from outside the department. Marshall expects some changes in management and deputy positions.

“Anybody is eligible to apply,” he said. “Everything will be leveraged against knowledge, skills and ability.”

Marshall said the application process would begin in the next couple of weeks.

Marshall said Capt. Paul Phelps may reapply for his job.

Phelps, who is the son of Sheriff Charlie Phelps, was put on administrative duties earlier in the year after he was charged with allowing a convicted felon who volunteered at the office possess a stun gun. A trial is set for Dec. 6.

Charlie Phelps said his son has been on sick leave for the past month and advised by doctors to no longer work in law enforcement due to his illness.