A Loudoun judge has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate two different areas of irregularities in the campaign of Sheriff Michael Chapman. Loudoun Commonwealth Attorney Jim Plowman recused himself from the investigations because he works closely with Sheriff Chapman. Circuit Court Judge Jeanette C. Irby appointed Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan L. Porter to conduct the investigation into campaign irregularities.
Charges against Chapman were filed by former Sheriff Steve Simpson and Ron Speakman, both of whom ran against Chapman in 2011. One charge involved Chapman having illegally obtained private emails and using those emails in his campaign literature. The emails were between a retired deputy, Ricky Frye, who was employed by Fairfax county, and Chapman’s opponent, Eric Noble, also a retired deputy. The two retired deputies are close friends who frequently emailed each other on private matters. Private emails are not covered under FOIA law and cannot be requested using the FOIA law. Although Chapman had no search warrant or subpoena he asked Fairfax County to turn over Frye’s private emails and the county complied. It was not legal for Chapman to have requested those private emails or publish them in his campaign literature.
Ron Speakman claims the sheriff used his office to illegally obtain private emails of his opponent. Speakman said the allegations “likely constitute a felony crime that appears to have been committed with the intent to obtain an advantage over an opponent in an upcoming election.”
Sheriff Chapman said the emails were legally obtained by his assistant, Brian Reynolds, through a FOIA request, and then used in a campaign mass mailing to discredit his political opponent, Eric Noble. At a convention in May, Sheriff Chapman beat Eric Noble by 5 votes.
If it was Brian Reynolds who obtained the private emails, it’s likely that Reynolds was behind the “33 questions” website which was set up to slam Eric Noble and used those private emails to do it. The Chapman campaign claimed they didn’t know who published the website.
The other issue under investigation is Sheriff Chapman’s campaign donations. While reviewing Chapman’s campaign donations former Sheriff, and current opponent, Steve Simpson, noticed that Chapman had not one single donation from any company or corporation. But he did have contributions from individuals in companies and corporations who have business with the Sheriff’s office.
“He’s trying to hide the fact that these are corporate contributions rather than personal,” Simpson said. He said at least two of the companies who are not disclosed as donors are either current contractors with the sheriff, such as the jail’s medical services provider, or trying to win a contract from the sheriff, specifically a local towing company. Simpson said that a review of the actual checks would show who the true donors are and that misrepresenting the source of the donors would be illegal.
Sheriff Chapman has denied all of the charges of illegalities in his campaign. From the Washington Post:
“We have 380,000 people in Loudoun County,” he said, “and you’ve got two people making complaints that I clobbered in the last election. That would raise some serious suspicions with everybody.” He said Plowman sought a special prosecutor only because “he clearly has been against me for the last couple of years. To give this any play is more nonsense. It gives those guys a platform.”
The investigation into the campaign irregularities will not take place until after the election because the appointed Commonwealth Attorney is busy with a big murder trial next month. That’s a shame. Voters have a right to know before they cast their ballot on November 3rd.
More on the story here.
I think you guys really need to cut back on the coffee and pump the brakes. I have no dog in this fight as I don’t reside in LOCO but I do have considerable experience in the FOIA realm. First and foremost, there is no such thing as an illegal FOIA request. Anybody can FOIA anything and there is nor provision in the statutes (at the Federal State or local level) to prevent them from asking for anything their little black hearts desire.
Disclosure by the agency that receives the request is a bit of a different matter however. In any event, almost anything (apart from personnel or personal data ie: SSN, etc.) may be released by the custodian of the records at his or her discretion.
This may be one of the stupidest (and for the taxpayers sake I hope the shortest) investigations on record.
you don’t understand–this is exactly how the sandbox set plays in Loudoun every.single.time. and it will only get more hysterical and more ridiculous and more messy the closer the election gets.
Then, when it all splatters back on the candidates the shriekers prefer, and they begin to reek from the stink, and LOSE, then it will be everybody ELSE’S fault for not doing it the shriekers’ way back at the convention–it would have been DIFFERENT, and they wouldn’t have HAD to screw the election too.
We’re Mean Girls, Leeches, Sandbox kids, and now Shriekers. Do we get to chose our favorite name that we’re called?
I don’t think I’ve ever called you a leech.
No you don’t get to choose, anymore than anyone else gets to choose when you start firing away on someone.
Golden rule, and all that 😀
I don’t think the Golden Rule means what you think it means.
You’re right, it was Brian Reynolds who referred to us as leeches. He’s a fun guy too, you’d like him.
the Golden Rule is pretty clear: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Just following your lead, here in your section of the caf’
Since you are such a legal expert, can you tell me why the Fairfax County Police Department handed over Retired Major Rick Frye’s county emails when this was the reason Chapman gave them:
“To access e-mails, documents show that Chapman’s internal affairs office in September 2014 asked Fairfax County for copies of e-mails from a retired Loudoun deputy who had begun working as a civilian contractor for Fairfax. Chapman’s internal affairs deputy, Ron Weckenman, told Fairfax that he was looking into the retired deputy’s “misuse of his Fairfax e-mail account” while communicating with sheriff’s employees “working in collusion against the Sheriff,” according to the e-mails provided to the retired deputy, former Maj. Ricky Frye.”
Is working in collusion against the Sheriff some kind of charge in the state of Virginia? This whole thing stinks, I have no idea why Fairfax would take on the legal liability of handing over emails when the reason is the Loudoun Sheriff is a paranoid nut.
Because if someone files a FOIA request for documents, the department being queried doesn’t have the authority to question the purpose behind the request, but rather the responsibility to fulfill it (if permissible) no questions asked. If you don’t understand that the Commonwealth has one of if not the most liberal set of FOIA statutes in the nation perhaps its time you did a little research into them so that next time you won’t sound like such a petulant whiny bitch.
The Derecho sound like Reynolds, those are the type of words he uses. And yes, any government entity can question the purpose of a FOIA. Are you high? Apparently you have never FOIA’d anything. Try to FOIA something from the LCSO with the name Chapman in it, they will stonewall your request and give you outrageous estimates on costs. Fairfax handed over those emails with no FOIA, they handed them over because Chapman cried.
I think Fairfax is in just as much trouble as Chapman. They did him a favor because he whined (like a little whiny bitch, to use your own words). There was no legal reason to hand over the emails.
In other words you haven’t read the statutes or you failed to understand them. In either case it is quite apparent that is is pointless for me to attempt to point out the errors of an imbecile. You really need to review 2.2 Chapter 37 of the Code of Virginia is your are going to continue spouting off.
Derecho, you may be talking to one of the deputies who uses various IDs to comment on various sites–and by the way, is also one of the guys in the FOIA emails.
This pretty much lays it all out, with links to the pertinent news stories:
Welcome to convention shenanigans 2.X
well derecho, I posted a link to an article about what’s going on here, because it’s what happened before the convention and this is just the fall matinee, but Jeanine deleted it. Can’t have the IDs of the sockpuppets (as published in the local press!) put on display. Again.
Yes, I deleted it because it was completely inaccurate. Yes, Derecho is a sock puppet but you seem to be enjoying his comments.
I believe The Derecho has been a blog about the same amount of time you have. The article I linked was not inaccurate in the least, as it was an overview of a series of news articles, which the piece linked.
Says the crazy pot to the kettle. I may be a lot of things (and many people have called me many of them) but a sock puppet is not one of them. I notice you have no defense to the substance of my comments which is rather telling. As to Babs enjoying my comments, I suspect this may be the first and perhaps last time that will happen.
could very well be, derecho. but whether I agree with you or not, I know you are a discrete and actual blogger, contrary to whatever the queen may need to put out for her following. Go to firewall nova and read the firewallnova right articles on the sheriff’s race in this year’s convention–that’s what Jeanine removed, because it detailed the sockpuppeting disgruntled deputy who was the primary feature of that process, has been on the news sites ever since Chapman won, and is probably right here right now in one or two iterations to run the game again.
Is that the one now employed by the Town of Haymarket?
no, he was the candidate (although, as documented in the press, he did some sockpuppeting too). His Guy Friday (ooh, a pun!) is still active in that regard.
Last I checked Simpson is an Independent candidate for Sheriff, not the Republican. More hypocracy from this blog claiming to be conservative.
How bout that pledge Martin? This isn’t your little party, regardless of how much you want it to be.
There are no pledges in the Republican or Democrat parties. If you are referring the the statement of intent, which the party plan and a number of General Counsel opinions specify only applies “at the time of the writing” you need to be aware that such statements do not mandate blind obedience, particularly when the nominee is facing criminal prosecution.
Speaking of the Statement of Intent, are you aware that Mr. Chapman’s campaign staff has been photographed at events, while wearing their Chapman tee shirts, assisting Scott York’s campaign?
Yes, Chapman’s ‘aide’ and campaign manager is also the the campaign manager for Independent Scott York.
Rumor has it that Chapman has suddenly had a “Come to Jesus” moment and parted ways with Brian Reynolds. Chapman was shocked, I say, shocked! that Reynolds had such a troubled past (more on that later). After working in collusion with Reynolds for the better part of 5 years, obtaining illegal emails, then putting up a bogus website to discredit a political challenger, then running around Loudoun saying “I Knew Nothing!”….it is a wonder anyone trusts this guy.
How is this tied to York? In all their brilliance the Chapman/York team used Reynolds jointly for social media, political consulting, email list management and overall dirty tricks. They were very proud of it, Reynolds told everyone that he was their contractor. Just last week Design B Studios was blathering on social media about their extensive client list, naming 15 or so Republicans, most of which used them for little more than bumper stickers and signs, exclaiming that they has such an exceptional mail list and how great they were. I guess Design B Studios (Brian Reynold’s company) read the writing on the wall and figured they’d make a last ditch effort to save their reputation. Too late. Now Chapman has bagged him. I guess York will suddenly have an epiphany. And both will claim “we hardly knew the guy!”.
“it is a wonder anyone trusts this guy” There’s someone in Loudoun who still trusts Brian? Someone he hasn’t stiffed by not completing work promised or someone he has stiff by not paying his bills? That’s what happens when you trust a career criminal who is in and out of court and jail with great frequency.
So, assuming what you are saying is true, then what is the big deal about the York claim? Moot point based on your statement. Unless there is a double standard. (which by the way is a common occurance here at the BE when Martin is involved.
The big deal is Chapman and Reynolds ran around pounding their fists insisting that everyone pledge their loyalty to the ticket. Day after day. Oh, until York got in the race and they joined ranks with him. Quite frankly, if someone wanted to dig around on joint efforts between the two campaigns, get pictures, you could probably come up with a pretty good case as to why Chapman should be stripped of the republican nomination.
OK, so? It bothers you but doesn’t bother others. And apparently the pledge means nothing so they aren’t violating that. Seems they are only ruffling feathers of individuals that don’t like them. They probably enjoy that part of it.
Why they have the stupid pledge is still a mystery to me. In the future, I won’t hesitate to consider it worthless.
We must remember that Chin is a democrat who supported Chapman in 2011 and supports him now. He supports Chapman so much that he turns out to vote for him in Republican conventions.
And your point is…other than mischaracterising me?
I am in the majority on support for Chapman. Find another way to deal with it other than highlighting (or creating) made up political attacks. Maybe supporting the Republican nominee would be a good starting point for you.
gee, it isn’t October yet! (bet the constitutional officers’ event was fun, with this dropping today).
So, no investigation until December, because the guy appointed has actual crime to deal with? That’s very convenient–this poo can be thrown right through election day.
Doesn’t pack the same punch as getting the FBI involved, though. What, did they get tired of being the foil in the Loudoun political play-pit? (Midway, the FBI is still investigating the 03 BoS, and anyone remotely connected with them, and will be arresting them ANY. DAY. now)
Voter suppression, against the home team. Well, if you can’t beat ’em, throw poo, take a picture, and tweet it, that’s what I always say…
Tell it to the Judge, who decided that the charges against Chapman are indeed serious enough to warrant a special prosecutor. And yes, a sheriff submitting false official documents to another jurisdiction under color of his badge to illegally get emails — also known as a warrantless search and seizure — for the personal purpose of suppressing a candidate to run against him IS an actual crime.
um, actually, all the judge did was appoint an independent person to review, per our own CA’s request–HE’S the one that decided the complaints were “serious”. This is an investigation, not a trial. Nice try though.
Wrong. The judge doesn’t take orders from the prosecutors, it’s the other way around. The judge saw fit to send the charges against Chapman forward for investigation. In other words, there is something there.
Non-sense. What was your claim when Delgaudio was in legal hotwater until King masterfully wiggled him out of it? Probably the opposite of what you are trumpetting now against Chapman. An investigation is an investigation.
This could be spin that the judge rolled his eyes and said, “get this crap off my desk, assign an investigator, and bury this until after the election” In other words, it was very easy to see this has political motive.
rotfl–read the actual articles in the newspapers–Plowman recused himself, and asked a judge to appoint someone else, which is all the judge did. The judge did not “see fit” to send any “charges” forward, she only facilitated Plowman’s recusal, at his request. There ARE no formal charges yet (real ones, as opposed to political bs), because there has been no investigation yet to determine if any should be brought.
If there were “something there” do you think it would have been assigned to someone with a major murder case, who won’t have time to look at it until December? Did you read the Post? The guy appointed ” said simply because he was appointed “does not mean in any way that any wrongdoing has occurred, nor should such an inference be made.” ”
Not that that should stop anyone here from doing exactly that, 24-7. I mean, it worked for the convention, right?
Face it — your sheriff is going to be prosecuted for criminal activity. He lied under oath on official documents, misused his position to conduct an illegal warrantless seizure of private property, and filed false campaign finance reports to cover up self-dealing and illegal contracts in his department.
BTW, since Chapman made such a big issue of his perverse belief that a federal security clearance is required to serve as sheriff, which is a county position, it’s noteworthy that the standard FBI procedure is to pull clearances upon receipt of information that any criminal investigation has been opened. The Washington Field Office has already been made aware of the investigation. Once the smoke clears Chapman will never again be able to obtain a security clearance. According to Chapman’s own repeated statements, that disqualifies him from serving as a sheriff in Loudoun County.
and the FBI is going to arrest EVERYBODY who isn’t at Jeanine’s lunch table in 5…4…3…2…
So, you WANT Democrats for Chair, Commonwealth’s Attorney, etc? Yeah, I guess through the looking glass, that’s the very best and only way to be a Real Republican.
Come December, when they look at this and yawn, you can do an Emily Litella and say “…never mind!”
Absolutely ridiculous assumptions!
Just remember you are on the side of the goof that saw it fit to publish a picture of his genitalia to a married woman during his miserable effort to run for office. Let’s start right there when we are talking about the integrity of these/his claims.
CHAPMAN ANSWERS FALSE ALLEGATIONS BY SIMPSON AND SPEAKMAN; CALLS SIMPSON CAMPAIGN
JUVENILE AND DESPERATE
LEESBURG, VA – On September 15th, The Washington Post published an article entitled “Special prosecutor appointed to investigate Loudoun County sheriff,” reviewing accusations made by Stephen O. Simpson and Ron Speakman. Mr. Simpson alleges that I have concealed the true source of certain campaign donations in my run for re-election this year. Mr. Speakman alleges that I improperly obtained and published private emails of my opponent for the Republican nomination who I defeated earlier this year.
Both charges are false, politically motivated and brought by opponents who I soundly defeated in the 2011 election, one of whom is seeking the office of sheriff again this year.
Complaints of this nature are common during the campaign season, and usually initiated by desperate candidates who are running behind. The special prosecutor assigned, Bryan Porter of Alexandria, states that simply because he was appointed “does not mean in any way that any wrongdoing has occurred, nor should such an inference be made.” He also indicated that he would not review the complaints until December due to more pressing matters.
Here are the facts.
All of my campaign donations are accounted for with appropriate and complete documentation. Absolutely no information was concealed. If any clerical errors were made these can easily be corrected via amended reports. The Loudoun County Electoral Board and others had ample time to bring up this issue if it was a legitimate concern but never did. Mr. Simpson raising it weeks before an election is an obvious political ploy that should be disregarded.
As for the release of emails, the Sheriff’s Office has a multi-faceted system for reviewing and providing emails to the public via Freedom of Information requests. This involves coordination with our custodian of records and our County Attorney’s Office. All information released is done so in accordance with existing statutes and FOIA guidelines. The emails in question were properly released and there is no merit to the allegations made by Mr. Speakman, who is finishing law school and trying to make a name for himself.
The credibility of the complainants deserves mention too.
In 2011, Mr. Simpson was found to have prepared correspondence in support of contractors from whom he received contributions, a clear violation of county procurement practices. He received over $35,000 from Osama El Atari while El Atari was under investigation and later convicted on federal charges for fraudulently obtaining over $71 million in bank loans. Simpson also was revealed to be selling the soft drink “9 Iron” out of the trunk of his government vehicle to promote his side business while he was Loudoun’s Sheriff.
Much of this was detailed in Washington Post articles “Donations to Loudoun sheriff’s campaigns spur questions among critics, officials” (08/02/2011), https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/donations-to-loudoun-sheriffs-campaigns-spur-questions-among-critics-officials/2011/04/26/gIQA8HRaqI_story.html, and “Loudoun’s Lagging Sheriff,” (08/05/2011), as well as other media. Simpson was also successfully sued by over 50 of his own deputies for gap pay violations related to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The Post itself acknowledges that Mr. Speakman has had an “eventful past”, referring to his being shot with a handgun by a girlfriend for having an affair with another woman, while married. He also texted a lewd photo of genitalia to a woman he had met just days earlier in a local biker bar while campaigning for sheriff in 2011.
This was first reported by the Post in “Loudoun candidate Speakman sends woman lewd photo” (10/05/2011), http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/loudoun-candidate-speakman-sends-woman-lewd-photo/2011/10/05/gIQAT64LQL_blog.html, and in “Loudoun sheriff candidate Ron Speakman has eventful past” (09/22/2011), http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/loudoun-sheriff-candidate-ron-speakman-has-eventful-past/2011/09/22/gIQAcfwOoK_blog.html.
It is apparent that Simpson and Speakman have joined forces to accomplish what they could not in 2011. Their attacks are a juvenile and desperate effort to distract the public from the success of my administration over the past four years. This includes reducing crime by 18%, achieving the highest approval citizen satisfaction rating ever from the respected UVA study, and returning over $4 million in savings to the County.
Mr. Simpson is trying to get free press for his failing campaign, and has enlisted the help of Mr. Speakman to do so. It is time for these two discredited individuals to move on.
Thank you for posting Mr. Chapman’s response. If there was nothing to the allegations by Speakman and Simpson, the Commonwealth Attorney wouldn’t have turned it over to a judge and further the judge would not have appointed a Special Prosecutor to investigate the matter further. Is Chapman saying the Judge and the Special Prosecutor should also move on?
Simply not true. As a fellow constitutional officer running for re-election, Plowman had to turn over the allegations to avoid a conflict of interest.
Your bloviating is inaccurate and irresponsible.
Avatar, You aren’t keeping up with the press, or you didn’t get your talking point from your dear leader. Chapman blamed Plowman for handing this over to the Circuit Court, he might as well have said “Mr Plowman woundn’t do me a political favor and I am pissed”.
From the WP “He (Chapman) said Plowman sought a special prosecutor only because “he clearly has been against me for the last couple of years. To give this any play is more nonsense. It gives those guys a platform.”
Ha! See Delgaudio. Hypocrit.
Martin makes two flat-out false statements in this post. 1) Chapman beat Noble by 75 total votes at the convention, not 5. 2) It was absolutely legal for Chapman to publish those emails after they were FOIA-ed. They were not private conversations; they were about undermining the sheriff in public forums. The emails were exchanged on government accounts.
Important to note that this accusation is coming from Ron Speakman, who texted pics of gentalia to women, and who was shot by a lover for having an affair on his wife. Also, Chapman defeated both Simpson and Speakman in the last election. Even with their vote totals combined, Chapman still won handily. Clearly, they have an axe to grind.
1. With weighted votes it was around 60 votes, but real votes, by real people, the difference was 5 votes. The Washington Post, the Commonwealth Attorney, and a Judge thought the procuring the emails was not legal.
Shooting the messenger is an old trick that rarely works and it won’t work with a judge or a Special prosecutor. Speakman may be a philanderer but that has nothing to do with Chapman’s illegal behavior.
Wrong on both counts:
1) From LCRC, 844 actual votes were cast at the convention. 461 went to Chapman and 383 went to Noble. 78 vote difference, which is nearly 10%. Your 5-vote claim is a distortion based on weighting the votes.
2) Nobody but Speakman (a bizarre and flawed character to say the least) is claiming that Chapman did anything illegal. Plowman referred it to another office to recuse himself due to any conflict of interest.
As always, Martin is distorting facts to serve her anti-Chapman rhetoric.
Exactly, weighted votes. In terms of REAL votes by REAL people, Chapman won by 5 votes. Five more people voted for Chapman than voted for Eric Noble.
It was 5 or 6 weighed votes. A handful of additional votes in Algonkian, Sterling or Dulles (where the weighted vote was approx. 12) and Chapman would be have lost.
Under General Orders aren’t law enforcement officers forbidden from fraternizing with known felons? Sheriff Chapman not only spends time with a felon on a daily basis, he hired him to be his aide and help run his campaign! More on that to come.
so, we’re back to attacking the people that got hired over you guys four years ago? This should be rich.
Chapman continued to employ Brian Reynolds into this election cycle. Look at his reports. Unless Chapman made 10 or 12 other “errors” like he claims with the contributions, Reynolds make thousands, perhaps 10s of thousands of dollars in In-Kind donations and got paid for other services.
How does this compare to spending time and strategizing with a deranged former/fired cop who publishes photos of his genitalia and gets shot by a woman in a domestic dispute?
ROTFL This tactic is so transparent it’s pathetic. Simpson, famous for having a second job while HE was Sheriff, Speakman involved with women, shootings, Lord knows what else and Plowman, sore because he backed a loser. Get over it boys, Chapman has been a very effective public servant and deserves reelection….none of you does.
I assume the FBI will immediately suspend Chapman’s security clearance.