RSW jail chief retires

By Alex Bridges

FRONT ROYAL — The first superintendent of the new regional jail in Warren County leaves just as the facility opens for business.

Superintendent Robert Mulligan announced his retirement effective today as head of the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail, according to a news release issued Monday night. Mulligan also retires after 31 years in law enforcement that included work for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

The $72 million regional jail officially starts operations today, replacing the local facilities in the three counties.

Whether or not Mulligan planned his retirement to coincide with the opening was not known Monday. The jail had closed before the release was issued and no one was available for comment. Mulligan did not return a call Monday night.

Deputy Superintendent Russ Gilkison has been appointed as acting superintendent. Douglas Stanley, county administrator for Warren County and chairman of the RSW Regional Jail Authority, said Monday he appointed Gilkison.

Gilkison brings more than 16 years of experience in law enforcement, including six years as executive-level manager for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office working as the assistant division commander of the Corrections Court Services Division. Gilkison also served in the U.S. Army. This marks Gilkison’s third time serving as the transition team leader for a new jail project, according to the release.

Stanley said he thought Mulligan chose now to retire because of the jail’s completion and its staff being hired.

Mulligan put off his planned retirement from law enforcement to take on the job of preparing the jail for its Tuesday opening, according to the press release. Mulligan had opened the new jail in Loudoun County before coming to the regional facility. During an interview about his hiring, Mulligan indicated he had intended on retiring.

The RSW Regional Jail Authority hired Mulligan in April 2013 to begin the process of filling positions needed to run the facility. Mulligan started work June 1 earning a salary of $95,000. The board hired Mulligan well in advance of the jail’s opening because it would take time to prepare for its operations.

In the release, Stanley pointed out that Mulligan completed the task of developing the jail’s operational policies, hiring employees and ordering materials and supplies needed for the facility.

Stanley thanked Mulligan for postponing his retirement to take on the tasks. Stanley said the board has confidence in Gilkison’s abilities to lead the jail during the transition from the three local facilities. Stanley said he expects the board to discuss at its July 24 meeting how it plans to recruit a permanent replacement for the superintendent.

The RSW Regional Jail Authority board met in closed session at its regular meeting Thursday to discuss a personnel matter. The board took no action related to the discussion item.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com