Fired deputy’s complaint includes explosive allegations of unethical and corrupt conduct by the Sheriff.
A lawsuit was filed yesterday in Loudoun County against Sheriff Mike Chapman. The lawsuit was brought by former Deputy Sheriff Mark F. McCaffrey. The suit is against Sheriff Chapman, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, and Loudoun County. McCaffrey is represented by the law firm, McSweeney, Cynkar & Kachouroff, a very well known Richmond law firm with deep ties to the Republican Party. Chapman and the county are being sued for millions of dollars. McCaffrey alleges in his complaint:
This case is about Defendant Michael L. Chapman’s malicious and callous abuse of his status and authority, and his breach of the public trust placed in him, as Sheriff of Loudoun County, a “constitutional officer” under Virginia law, as well as the complicity of Defendants Loudoun County and its Board of Supervisors in the actions taken against the Plaintiff, Mark McCaffrey, in December 2015. Defendant Chapman’s conduct is animated by a single-minded passion to advance his own interests, magnify his own stature and self-importance, and diminish subordinates, which conduct violated Mr. McCaffrey’s constitutional rights.
3. Defendants Loudoun County and its Board of Supervisors had the authority and power to constrain Defendant Chapman’s conduct and prevent the violation of Mr. McCaffrey’s constitutional rights, but they did not do so.
Defendant Chapman manages the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (“LCSO”) by a dynamic of intimidation generated by rudeness, lies, and insulting behavior towards his colleagues, punctuated by screaming and fits of rage, capped by campaigns of unrelenting retaliation, by any means, against the perpetrators of every perceived slight or difference of opinion. As Defendant Chapman put it to one of his Senior Commanders, “People challenge me. I’m going to crush them. They’ll never work in law enforcement. I’m-going to ruin their career.” It is hardly surprising that his Senior Commanders privately concluded that Defendant Chapman is a “malignant narcissist,” even as they continued to do his bidding.
But it gets worse…much worse.
In paragraph 66 of the complaint, McCaffrey accuses the sheriff of special favors to those who contributed to his campaign. He goes on to charge the sheriff with “Abusive and Malicious Treatment of Employees and Unprofessional Personal Comportment.” Chapman fired employees who wouldn’t do his bidding, as well as those employees who were known to have supported Chapman’ opponent, former deputy Eric Noble, at the Republican convention in 2015.
Much of what is alleged in this lawsuit is well known in Loudoun County. Sheriff Chapman has been known for verbally abusing employees and firing those who disagree with him. He is also said to be very generous with taxpayer’s money to those who support him, such as the $14,000 given to his buddy Brian Reynolds in a no bid contract to make new business cards for those in the Sheriff’s office. From the Loudoun Times-Mirror:
In the lawsuit, McCaffrey’s attorney describes a working environment within the sheriff’s office of “intimidation generated by rudeness, lies, and insulting behavior towards his colleagues, punctuated by screaming fits of rage, capped by campaigns of unrelenting retaliation, by any means, against the perpetrators of every perceived slight or difference of opinion.” It says Chapman once told senior commanders, “People are going to challenge me. I’m going to crush them. They’ll never work in law enforcement. I’m going to ruin their career.”
Chapman, the lawsuit alleges, “sought exclusive control of the communications from the [sheriff’s office] to the outside world,” whether in dealing with the press, public service or any other form. He’s alleged to have been “enraged” if any other member of the office happened to be named in the media.
Mark McCaffrey is a 30 year police veteran with an outstanding record and numerous awards. That did not stop the sheriff from firing him when he learned of McCaffrey’s support for former deputy Eric Noble. (He too was fired by Sheriff Chapman).
McCaffery’s lawyers have requested a jury trial. McCaffery’s complaint is attached below. I know it’s long, but it’s well worth a read, especially from page 18 on.
If this lawsuit results in a jury trial, I’ll bring the popcorn.