Sheriff-elect hires two top Smithfield officers

Published 10:40 am Friday, December 9, 2011

ISLE OF WIGHT—Isle of Wight County Sheriff-elect Mark Marshall has hired the majority of the administrative staff for when he takes over Jan. 1.

Retiring Newport News Police Det. Rick Gaddis will head investigations. Gaddis will replace Paul Phelps, who is on medical leave.

Gaddis was the first to challenge six-term Sheriff Charlie Phelps but dropped out once Marshall, the Smithfield police chief, entered the race.

Marshall has also hired Smithfield Police Lt. James Clark Jr. as his chief deputy. A 13-year veteran cop for Smithfield, Clark will be a major. Clark will take over for Maj. Joseph Williard, who was acting chief deputy, according to county spokesman Don Robertson. Williard will oversee the operation of courts and civil process, Marshall said. Smithfield Police Sgt. Ron Bryan will join as a lieutenant.

Some of the members of Sheriff Phelps’ administrative staff did not apply for jobs under the new administration, Marshall said.

He didn’t want to name them or release the salaries of the new staff until the amounts finalized by the county’s budget and finance office.

Robertson said the salaries were not available because to his knowledge the new hires had not yet filled out county paperwork. Paul Phelps made $47,494 as lead investigator and Williard made $55,742 as acting chief deputy.

In addition, Marshall has hired his current administrative assistant, Jimmie Minton, for the same position. She will replace Phelps’ current administrative assistant, Eileen Smith. Smith did not reapply.

There are still some sergeant and lieutenant positions open.

“We’ll take a look internally and see what we have,” Marshall said.

The reorganization of his top staff coincides with his desire to build an organizational chart within the department.

Retired investigators will be handling background checks on all employees within the department.

“It’s a daunting task,” Marshall said. “That’s why I’ve asked seven officers to come out of retirement to help. We obviously want to take a look at what we have internally and I would like the majority (of current employees) to stay on board with this administration.”