The Washington Post has published an article explaining what really happened in the Loudoun Sheriff’s office concerning a large embezzlement case and the budget overruns under Chapman.[read_more]
First is Chapman’s 2012 budget which had a budget overrun of over $2 million. In March of 2013 when the Sheriff’s budget was presented to the Board of Supervisors with these overruns, Sheriff Chapman feigned outraged and said his staff had not informed him of this budget deficit. The Post article shows that not be true. Sheriff Chapman said,
“never took the time to really fill me in. . . . I took him (Eric Noble) off the budget because I felt I was blindsided. . . . I had my suspicions I wasn’t being given all the truth.”
The reality is the Sheriff was informed over and over by Deputy Eric Noble, beginning almost a year prior, April 2012, that there were major budget problems. In October of 2012 the sheriff’s office had a meeting, with the sheriff present, where a deficit of $1.6 million was discussed. The Sheriff was “given all the truth”. From the Washington Post,
He (Eric Noble) provided documents from an October 2012 meeting with the sheriff, county administrator Tim Hemstreet and other officials, showing the first quarter of the fiscal year was more than $1 million over budget, and that Chapman“allowed spending to go on unfettered.” Hemstreet and Michelle Draper, a sheriff’s budget manager who later resigned after clashing with Chapman, both confirmed the substance of the meeting.
Chapman was informed that the sheriff’s budget was in big trouble with over a million in cost overruns, in October of 2012, confirmed by two others who were present at the October meeting. When the board of Supervisors got very upset about the overruns, Chapman claimed he knew nothing about it. That is simply not true.
The second big problem for the sheriff is the large case of embezzlement that first came to light in January of 2013. The case is still under investigation.
Chapman said he got the ball rolling in January 2013 when he visited the narcotics unit and found numerous seized vehicles gathering dust, and asked why they were there.
Beginning in February 2013, sheriff’s deputies began serving the paperwork that the deputy had declined to do for years. But the well-liked deputy remained on the job and records show that cash in an additional 22 cases totaling more than $50,000 disappeared between February and October 2013, when the scheme was finally uncovered, apparently by Draper.
Sheriff Chapman let the embezzler stay in his job from January until October 2013 allowing the thief to steal another $50,000!
Chapman said his commanders were trying to figure out a convoluted process and thought “it was more of a process issue than a theft issue.”
In October Chapman tried to take credit for discovering the embezzlement. Not only did he NOT discover the embezzlement, he had allowed it to continue for another 8 months while the county lost another $50,000!
Loudoun’s Commonwealth Attorney Jim Plowman said,
(Eric)Noble “has a far better grasp on how the agency operates and a much clearer understanding of the role of a local law enforcement agency” than Chapman. He said Chapman’s claim that he uncovered an apparent $250,000 embezzlement by one of his deputies “could not be further from the truth.”
While Eric Noble is concerned about huge budget deficits and embezzlement, Chapman continues to focus on emails and blog comments critical of his command.
When Mike Chapman ran for office in 2011, Eric Noble was a big supporter. It was only after working with Chapman for over two years that Noble, like so many other deputies, realized how bad things were under Chapman’s command and things were not getting better. The budget and embezzlement are only two of the issues. The heroin epidemic in Loudoun was another problem that grew year after year under Sheriff Chapman before he took action in just the last few months. There’s also the problem of fewer arrests for drunk driving while the population has increased and such arrests have increased in nearby counties.
Eric Noble had no intention of running against Sheriff Chapman until it became obvious that someone had to challenge him if the sheriff’s office was ever to get back on track. Many deputies have expressed the same frustrations, including some of the men and women who work most closely with the sheriff, but only Noble had the courage to do something about it and challenge Sheriff Mike Chapman.
Washington Post article here.