CLAY, W.Va. – The Clay County Commission named a new sheriff Wednesday, lauding Garrett Samples for his long career in law enforcement and emergency services.
Samples will be sworn in Oct. 1 to replace Mike Slack, who stepped down last week shortly before pleading guilty to a federal wiretapping charge. Slack admitted to tapping his then-estranged wife’s computer in the magistrate office.
The county commission was seeking a respected candidate who can handle the fallout from Slack’s actions.
“(Slack) just did a stupid thing and he paid for it dearly,” said Samples. “It did hurt the department a little bit, but I think as far as what we’ve got to do to improve it, we’ve just got to be visible and do our jobs.”
Samples is currently the county’s home confinement officer.
“I do have a diverse background where I’ve worked in the jail, worked as a 911 dispatcher, a couple small city police (departments),” said Samples, emphasizing he doesn’t plan to make staff changes.
“I am going to keep the same personnel. I have a good department. It runs good. We all get along together. I don’t see any big changes.”
Along with Sample, the department includes four law enforcement deputies and four tax deputies.
The other two finalists for the job were retired deputy and former state trooper Jim Paxton and current deputy Robert Belt.