County officials at each other’s throats

To recap, a local court case known as Bragg 1 alleges that the county’s Board of Supervisors violated Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on several occasions in 2016 by not giving proper public notification before going into closed session.

Surrounding the case, Jackson District Supervisor Ron Frazier on Saturday fired off an electronic missive to County Attorney Art Goff. On Tuesday, Goff fired back. Then Frazier returned fire. The two county officials and their edited emails speak for themselves:

Mr. Goff,

Just wondering, can you elaborate on why I was served with a summons from Michael Brown from “Walker Jones” . . . hired by the Board of Supervisors to assist you in the defense of the Board (of which I am a member) for materials related to the Bragg I?

For a Board member to be subpoenaed for materials that do not exist . . . shows the incompetence of our staff. I no longer have to wonder, you and [former county attorney] Mr. Luke have proven it.

This is an outrage.

Ronald Frazier.

The county attorney’s response . . .

Mr. Frazier: You were served with a subpoena duces tecum because we require you to answer it. You will also be served with process for me to take your deposition, in due course, wherein you will answer my questions under the penalty of perjury.

I understand . . . Mr. Brown informed you of the difference between being a member of the BoS and being an individual client. I hope you understand what he told you. You are not my individual client, never have been, and never will be. For questions relating to civil procedure . . . and your status as a member of the BoS, you should consult your own attorney.

To be clear, I represent [current and former supervisors] Roger Welch, John Lesinski, Chris Parrish, and Mike Biniek as individual clients. I do not represent you. You chose to reverse your certifications and to accede to [David] Konick’s threats and were thereby removed as a party to Bragg I . . .

Do not send me an insulting email ever again. ALG.

And then this in return from Frazier . . .

 

Mr. Goff,

 

As a member of the “Board” you owe me the ethical obligation to keep me informed . . . and I will  continue to make you aware of it until it finally sinks in that as County Attorney, you must represent the Board first, and then the individual respondents. It is unfortunate you and Mr. Luke both have trouble with this . . .

 

Your’s and Peter Luke’s legal argument was shredded by 6 of the 7 Supreme Court justices. The opinion was 7-0. Perhaps you are somehow under the spell of Mr. Luke?

I am not blind, deaf or dumb, and as a member of the Board, I am one of your employers in your role of County Attorney and I take wasteful spending very serious. I did not “accede” to Mr. Konick’s threats . . . Sometimes people do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.

Do not ever send me another insubordinate communication again.

Ron.

— John McCaslin

Staff/Contributed
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