VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — In a social media post published on Tuesday, Virginia Beach Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler accused city Sheriff Ken Stolle of firing her husband from the sheriff’s office after she shared concerns with him about a deputy allegedly attending the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“A concerned citizen shared a video with me of a @VBSO Deputy at the Capitol on January 6. I have been a target to some of these extremists, so I let our Sheriff @kenstolle know hoping he would help. Did Stolle do anything? Yes! He fired my husband this morning. #detoxVB,” Convirs-Fowler tweeted.
She updated the social media post a few hours with: “Correction: He put my husband on “Administrative Leave” until 1/1/22 then he will not be reinstated.”
Stolle originally responded to Convirs-Fowler’s tweet on Tuesday, denying that anyone from the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office (VBSO) participated in the insurrection or any other criminal conduct at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Stolle also tweeted that his team has spoken with the FBI and were assured that no one on his staff broke the law.
In a follow-up statement on Wednesday, Stolle said that deputy was at the “Stop the Steal” rally outside of the Capitol on Jan. 6, but he didn’t enter the Capitol and was cleared of wrongdoing after cooperating with the FBI’s investigation. Stolle said he wouldn’t name the deputy.
He also said the issue “has nothing to do with her husband’s appointment.”
10 On Your Side requested Convirs-Fowler share the clip showing the sheriff’s deputy at the insurrection that she claims was sent to her. As of Tuesday evening, while she texted a reporter screenshots of her text conversations with Stolle, she did not send a copy of the video or acknowledge a request to reveal the deputy’s name.
Convirs-Fowler also tweeted a screenshot of what appeared to be a text message conversation between herself and Stolle starting on Nov. 24 in which she mentioned the video she’d like to discuss with him.
Stolle said he agreed to discuss the issue with Convirs-Fowler, but she had yet to provide a video. “She has yet to provide anything, but has had plenty of opportunity to do so,” Stolle said in the statement on Wednesday. “Instead she decided to withhold the information and make a political issue of it.”
The VBSO also issued a statement on Tuesday denying firing Convirs-Fowler’s husband, Sgt. W.D. Fowler. The VBSO confirmed that Fowler was placed on paid administrative leave on Tuesday and that he will not be appointed to another four-year term to work at the VBSO.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, all sheriffs’ office personnel are constitutional appointees who serve at the pleasure of the elected sheriff in their jurisdiction. Sheriffs can terminate an appointment at any time. The sheriff has the absolute authority – and the responsibility – to decide who to appoint to best carry out their policies, perform their law enforcement duties, uphold the public trust, and serve the community.
Pursuant to that authority, Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle today notified Sgt. W.D. Fowler that he would not be appointed for a new four-year term on Jan. 1, 2022. He has been placed on paid administrative leave for the duration of his current four-year appointment, which expires on Dec. 31, 2021. Sgt. Fowler’s employment has not been terminated and there is no correlation whatsoever to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S Capitol, as has been alleged by his wife.VBSO statement on Sgt. W.D. Fowler
Stolle and the sheriff’s office declined to provide any further comment on the issue, as it is a personnel matter.
Updates will be posted as they are received by WAVY-TV 10.