Former Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office Capt. J. C. Welch has been replaced, Sheriff Connie C. Smith confirmed Tuesday. The office’s investigator is now former RCSO deputy Shawn Walters, 40, of Amissville.
Smith would not comment on any of the circumstances of the departure last month of Welch, 37, citing labor-law restrictions on public discussion of “personnel matters.”
Longtime Sperryville resident and former Town of Culpeper police sergeant Welch ran against Smith for sheriff in 2007, a three-way race she won with 43 percent of the vote (to former RCSO Maj. Chris Williams’s 34 percent and Welch’s 23 percent). Smith hired Welch a year later as the department’s investigator.
Some local observers have suggested Welch might run for sheriff again next year. Welch did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Walters most recently worked for the Smith as a part-time patrol deputy (while also working as a part-time correctional officer at Rappahannock Regional Jail in Stafford); he was among six RCSO employees who left in 2011 to work for former RCSO Maj. Scott Jenkins after Jenkins was elected sheriff in his home county of Culpeper.