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Sheriff Bob Mosier nominated to Gov.-elect Youngkin’s cabinet

Chief deputy announces intention to run in special election

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Eric Maybach, Fauquier County commissioner of the revenue, Sheriff Robert Mosier, Commonwealth's Attorney Scott Hook and Va. Sen. Jill Vogel (R-27th) take the stage during an Oct. 20, 2021 campaign rally in Warrenton for then-candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin.

Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) has nominated Fauquier County Sheriff Bob Mosier to be Virginia’s next secretary of public safety and homeland security. Mosier, a Republican who campaigned on Youngkin’s behalf, was first elected sheriff in 2015.

If confirmed by the state senate, Mosier will oversee 11 agencies, including the state police, the department of corrections, the department of emergency management and the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

Mosier will remain Fauquier’s sheriff until he is confirmed, a sheriff’s office spokesman said Tuesday. Lt. Col. Jeremy Falls, the county’s highest-ranking sheriff’s deputy, will take over in an interim role if Mosier is confirmed, according to an email Falls sent to staff members Tuesday.

“While change can be a time of uncertainty for many, I want to assure you that there will be no immediate major changes in the operations of how we conduct business,” Falls said in the email.

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Fauquier County Clerk Gail Barb (left) and Lt. Col. Jeremy Falls (right) look on while Sheriff Bob Mosier congratulates the men and women of the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office during a 2019 swearing-in ceremony.

Once Mosier resigns, Virginia law stipulates that the county must hold a special election to elect a sheriff to serve the remainder of Mosier’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2023. The process for petitioning the circuit court to hold a special election has not yet begun, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman Chris Granger (Center District). The special election could be as late as Nov. 8, 2022, the day of the 2022 general election.

Falls, a U.S. Army veteran with 25 years of law enforcement experience split between Fauquier and Fairfax counties, said Tuesday that he plans to run for sheriff in the special election this year. No one else had announced their intention to run as of Tuesday afternoon.

The public safety secretariat, headed since 2014 by Brian Moran, has a combined $3.4 billion annual operating budget. The role would be a massive step up for Mosier, who currently leads an agency with a $5.5 million operating budget — 1/600 of the state’s public safety budget. When contacted by the Fauquier Times, a Youngkin campaign representative declined to comment further on why Mosier was chosen for the role.

A press release announcing Mosier’s nomination quoted Youngkin as saying, “Bob shares my vision for innovating how our law enforcement officers build trust and engage in their communities they serve by building bridges with local leaders to reduce crime and keep Virginians safe.”

The press release said Mosier’s first action would be to “fire the Parole Board,” a key campaign promise after that board has come under intense criticism after an inspector general report found that the board failed to follow its own victim-notification procedures and other state laws.

Mosier, 58, began his career as a dispatcher for the Manassas Park Police Department as a teenager, working his way up to patrol officer by the age of 21 and eventually leading several divisions in the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office before his election to the top role in 2015.

Mosier has also served on U.S. Department of State missions internationally and worked as a security contractor. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) appointed him to the Criminal Justice Services Board and to the Substance Abuse Services Council.

Va. Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27th), who represents Fauquier County in the state senate, called Mosier's nomination an “outstanding choice” in a text message Monday evening. “He is well qualified and will be a phenomenal addition to the new administration's team,” she said. “And I'm very proud.”

Reach Coy Ferrell at cferrell@fauquier.com

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(1) comment

brian

Our loss is the Commonwealth's gain. Godspeed Sheriff!

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