Organizing Project leader escapes Anthem trespass conviction

In July, after Anthem called Henrico County police on Charlottesville human rights organizer Joe Szakos, who allegedly wanted to ask some questions about the 14 percent spike in premiums his non-profit was paying, it looked like the Richmond-based insurance giant might get trespassing charges to stick. After all, the whole thing–- including his calm demeanor as the police cuffed him–- was captured on video. But after a trial today, and pending six months with good behavior and no visits to Anthem’s property, Szakos will apparently not get punished for refusing to leave his insurance company's entrance vestibule.

51 comments

Does Szakos have plans to change insuance providers or was this a stunt to help get his wife elected to city council since she didn't have significant local issues?

The reality is you are correct that JT was pretty much a non factor on the council. But you are missing the point. Mayor Norris controls city council, who runs, who wins. I believe Mr. Connover and Mr. Vandaveer were Mr. Baird's campaign managers. But to your point, they might not meet the new criteria for what is a democrat in Charlottesville. All Norris had to do was say I support Kristen S and James B and this would be a non story. But he choose do play both sides of the aisle, and got away with it. That issue is not really in dispute

This is our new city councilor's husband. Lucky us...

Honus, packing up and moving is not an option for a lot of folks that don't like their city council.

The recently completed election for city was hilarious. Democrats tossing their own under the bus and hand selecting others to take their place. And all of this was taking place behind the scenes and unbeknownst to Taliaferro.

A lot of folks don't like their city councils statewide. You should have seen the trick Richmond city council pulled last night. In a matter concerning their mayor, they refused to let a citizen speak until very late in the meeting... after the press had already left.

----------------------------

November 23, 2009

Very interesting and long night at the Richmond City Council meeting tonight. We had over twenty members present. The Dark Side had five.

I had signed up to speak at the meeting three weeks ago by contacting the City Clerk, who dutifully took down my name and said I was good to go for November 23rd. She also asked what I was going to be talking about.

But, tonight when City Council finally got to public comment, they called 6 names only, 3 of which were anti-gunners who praised the Mayor for joining up with Bloomberg's anti-gun coalition.

MY NAME WAS NEVER CALLED and they moved on to other business quickly. I got up and walked to the front of the room and proceeded over to a police officer who was stationed near a door and explained the
situation, but he didn't really know how I could get City Council a message about having skipped me. (I was told that while I was walking along the front of the room looking for the correct person to talk to,
the City Council President, Kathy Graziano, and Vice-President, Ellen Robertson, were watching me and smirking. I think they figured that I was "shut out" of speaking.)

Next thing I knew, Council was calling for public input on another matter and I stepped up to the microphone and explained that they had not called me, I had signed up, and I was there to address them.

The President looked like she had just bit hard into a fresh lemon. Clearly she absolutely did not want me to speak, but spat out that I could have my 3 minutes after their current business was over. I
said, "OK" and sat down.

Member Joe Lignon, who had tried to sign up to speak earlier that day and was told that only eight were allowed and all slots were filled, went to the mike after me to complain that only 6 had spoken and not 8 as he had been told. He tried to ask why he couldn't be given a slot.

The President in a very hostile way said that Joe was out of order and demanded that he sit down. Joe gave up and sat down.

(BTW, my thanks to Joe who was set to fill in for me if I didn't get back from Mack Elliott's visitation in time to speak.)

Finally I got my chance to speak toward the very end of the meeting. (In fact they made me wait through several extra agenda items before recognizing me.)

Besides speaking about Bloomberg, I also spoke on City Council's legislative agenda, of which there were copies at the meeting. I said that I objected to City Council wishing to restrict the otherwise
lawful carry of guns into government buildings and recreation facilities and their wishing to close the non-existent "gun show loophole."

City Councilman Martin Jewell called me back to the microphone to ask me why I hadn't gone into detail about what Bloomberg was doing that wasn't aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. I explained that I only had 3 minutes and there wasn't time. But since he asked, I explained a little about Bloomberg.

Afterwards twelve of us went to eat and as luck would have it, about fifteen minutes after we arrived, in walks Councilman Jewell! We all
saw this as an opportunity to get him to understand exactly what Bloomberg is really up to.

He engaged us in conversation and we had a polite back and forth with him for about 10 minutes. There was quite a bit he didn't know about Bloomberg and Bloomberg's disgraceful history here in Virginia. I think we got his curiosity up.

Unfortunately, the antis underhanded tactic of not letting me speak when I was supposed to meant that many had left the meeting, including the press, by the time I finally got my chance.

But, you know what they say about he who laughs last... Let's see what happens when the rubber meets the road in the General Assembly in
January.

The very notion that Dave Norris is a Machiavellian puppetmaster is laughable. Anyone that would say that doesn't actually know the man.

Agree with Yepper. Politicians do part ways sometimes due to all sorts of reasons, philosophical or otherwise. It's not like Taliaferro and Norris were married to each other. The fact that Taliaferro and Norris were civil to each other tells you what you need to know. The truth is that they like and respect each other, and were not stabbing each other in the back. Any drama associated with that part of the primary and election is purely fictitious.

There's no one who would dispute that Taliaferro is a pleasant person. But quite a few people feel he was a genial non-performer on Council. Admittedly, he kicked it into a higher gear during his last 6 months, but prior to that he didn't participate much. He was a master of the non-statement-- words would come out but nothing substantive was said. I've heard more than one person liken him to the Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland. The people obviously wanted a change, and that's how they voted.

@ Gasbag, I don't know a single Dem that supported Baird... at any point in the campaign. A lot of people felt the same way about him you did. Just because they weren't spitting in his eye every time they saw him doesn't mean they were stabbing him in the back. Do you actually know any of these people, or do you get all your info from your fellow conspiracy nuts? And haven't you been taking the credit for unhorsing Baird anyway?

Oh yes, CvilleDem, I most certainly do disagree.

Dave Duncan stayed on part time after his retirement. Dave Duncan has continued to run the office for the new incoming sheriffs, just as he has done for the last several decades. One sheriff after another.

If this information is not true, trust me, it came from a very reliable source within the department. They also claim they have Dave Duncan on "speed dial" in case he is not on duty. :)

And yes, Mike Baird does have a tendancy to get swept up into things a little bigger than he should. See....

http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2009/05/08/settled-candidate-w...

There's one major hurdle you fail to take into consideration. Deputy sheriffs have no protection at all in Virginia. State law allows sheriffs to hire and fire at will, with or without cause. The sheriff that fired me simply wanted an excuse so he could sleep better at night I guess. (In reference to the "sick building syndrome", I'm still going to make available someday an audio tape I have of him pulling one over big time on the city manager though. I'm thinking the best time is to hand Gary O'Connell a copy of it at his retirement party!)

Come to think of it, we had a deputy sheriff fall asleep and demolish a brand new cop car. He hit an H T Ferron concrete truck broadside up on Preston Avenue. No punishment whatsoever. I think the car had less than 1,000 miles on it. But of course he was the office mascot. Or as one sheriff called him, the "token ________". You will have to use your imagination and fill in the blank. Oh yes, we had had a couple of "behind the scenes" racists sheriffs. Racism is alive and well in this country, everywhere! If anybody wants to challenge this accusation, I might just lay an audio tape or two on them too! :)

The truth hurts, doesn't it? :)

quote: "I don’t know a single Dem that supported Baird”Š at any point in the campaign. A lot of people felt the same way about him you did."

Interesting! I really was not aware of that.

I'm glad to hear it. But as I said, it's a personal between myself and the Baird family. I have no use for any of them now.

quote: "Do you actually know any of these people, or do you get all your info from your fellow conspiracy nuts?"

Oh yes, I worked in the sheriff's office when the then sheriff Daddy Baird hired him. I didn't think it was proper then, and I still don't. His daddy hiring him and promoting him over others was actually the beginning of my hatred for the nepotism and favoritism that suddenly infected the sheriff's office.

quote: "And haven’t you been taking the credit for unhorsing Baird anyway?"

Absolutely! I like to think that I did my fair share in causing Baird to lose the Democratic nomination. At the time of course, I was supporting Phillip Brown. But James Brown came along and blindsided everybody. James was my second choice on my ballot though. So he ended up getting my vote indirectly.

You have to remember that the position of sheriff is the first top ranking law enforcement job the community has allowed an African American to occupy. Black applicants for police chief were always chased away or intimidated into withdrawing their applications, IMHO. Anyhow, I think it's great that an African American will be replacing Cornelia. And as I have always said before, as long as the sheriff (Brown) keeps former Captain Dave Duncan on the payroll (Dave is part time now), there is no question that can't be answered very quickly. A sheriff doesn't have to do a dayum thing if he/she has a good and knowledgeable staff to call on. Several sheriffs have proven this in the last few decades.

Honus, Iran's approach to government is just like your own, and it's one of the reasons we consider them to be enemies. I'll chose democracy and free speech thank you!

OMG,

How do you define "Dem machine?" At the time, I heard much more criticism leveled at the so-called "old Boys" (Machine?) for supporting Taliaferro and Baird against the newcomers. This is why I really find the term to be misleading - because it means different things to different people.

If your criticism (and that of Gasbag, for that matter) is simply of Dave Norris and his supporters, then I am actually inclined to agree with you (and I owe Gasbag an apology) that it was extremely distasteful to see Norris' shabby treatment of JT.

But as I said before, it's a free country/Party and Democrats can support whomever they like. The fact that it happened is evidence AGAINST the existence of a Democratic Party "Machine" in this town (at least nowadays).

quote: "Oh my God, OK, I never thought these words would leave my lips, or fingers as the case may be. Steve Shifflett is right, Whew, there I said it."

Let there be no mistake, I wasn't too upset about Baird losing. It was a personal issue between him, his father, and I. I don't think his then sheriff father had any business hiring him as a deputy sheriff a few decades back. I was somewhat upset when the Democrats tossed Dave Duncan out to the dogs like a t-bone steak bone, so they could endorse a foot cop from the downtown mall.

The history of the sheriff's position in this city is very disturbing. IMHO, the last four or five sheriffs have only wanted the position so as to enhance their retirement benefits. Their retirement check is based on the highest several years of salary with the city. And cop after cop after cop after cop landed the job with the Democrats blessings. The people who had worked there for decades and knew the job inside out weren't even considered by the Democrats.

While we're on the discussion of politics, Pop Quiz time. Can you tell me the last police chief where the educational requirements for the position were lowered so as to make him, a "good ole boy", eligible?

Politics in this city stink.

Gas,

"That’s because most people didn’t know what was going on **behind the scenes**. Everybody assumed Norris was supporting Taliaferro at the time. :)"

Not sure who you were talking to. It was not a very big secret (in Democratic circles at least) that Dave was backing Kristen.

OMG,
I suppose I can buy that definition of a NEW Democratic Machine - but only to a point, since it was just a few months ago that I was torn to shreds on this very board for suggesting that there was no City Democratic Machine anymore, or at least that it wasn't composed of folks like Nancy O'Brien, Tom Vandever, and John Conover. It suggests at the very least that in Charlottesville, the popular conception of the "Democratic Machine" can change quite rapidly. (And doesn't THAT undercut the notion of a "machine" in the first place?)

quote: "At the time, I heard much more criticism leveled at the so-called 'good old Boys' (Machine?) for supporting Taliaferro and Baird against the newcomers."

That's because most people didn't know what was going on **behind the scenes**. Everybody assumed Norris was supporting Taliaferro at the time. :)

Here is the new Dem Machine, it is Mayor Norris. All, and I mean all, other politicians admire his ability to organize at a local level and his ability to get the vote and money out. Just look at his savvy when it comes to the media, he is always positive on message and gets his points across. He helped get there by running with and building an alliance with Julian T. Julian helped him get elected, helped him to be mayor. In return, Mayor Norris supported Kristen S.

More proof of who is in charge of the Dem machine. Here was their game plan. Deeds becomes governor, Mayor Norris supports David Toscono to be the next State Senator and then they all support Mayor Norris to fill Toscono’s house seat. Again, the admire Mayor Norris’s ability to raise money and turn out the vote. No one dare cross him.

and steve, please stop making me agree with you

Ms/Mr Check, exactly when did Julian realize that Mayor Norris was no longer supporting him? The truth is, Mayor Norris was playing both sides with Julian. Civil and supporting to his face in case he won and well you know the story. As for City employees, how do you explain the popularity of Rob Shilling, he is a jerk but the city dems are driving people to him

Gasbag Self Ordained Expert

Did you at least say amen when you woke up dude . It's easy , when ya get caught ; just look up and say AMEN JESUS .
It's all good after that :)

Personally I feel anybody that could actually stay awake in a court room all day should be throw in jail for a psychiatric evaluation .

But that's just me

Interesting .

If I were representing you I would certainly have took the same angle with the city prescribed sedatives LOL . But I would also have holstered up my ADA defense quickly as it appears to me your employer ,rather than referring you to an an employee assistance program , or to seek medical help considering the circumstances decided to fire a man with a disability . I am most certain your employer was aware your work environment was TOXIC ( By ENVIRONMENT I think I mean sick building syndrome of course LOL )

With the proceeds' of the settlement , after my cut you could afford to pay off a few judges .

quote: "...and steve, please stop making me agree with you..."

I feel very evil today! :)

I have to say, just thinking about the latest Democratic shenanigans in this city has given me a headache today. And the fear of God striking me dead right now if I am telling a lie, I think this is the first headache I have had since March of 1996.

quote: "Mayor Norris was playing both sides with Julian. Civil and supporting to his face in case he won and well you know the story."

I agree.

And I think certain Democrats were doing the exact same thing with Baird during the Democratic nomination process. Supporting him to his face, and stabbing him in the back by endorsing Brown behind the scenes.

Taliaferro is an intelligent man. I think he might have known what was going on, but Baird never saw it coming.

ps - while I was under the city doctor's care for the "sick building symdrome" associated with the courthouse, he prescribed xanax to me.

I had no idea what it was or the fact that it makes a person quite drowsy. I had never taken drugs before in my life for anything that I can recall.

The city doctor created the problem, not me.

Gary O'Connell offered me a job in 911, I told him to shove it. I think he didn't have the backbone to stand up to any sheriff, like Cole Hendrix had done in the past. I miss Cole Hendrix! He was a great man!

Fair point, however, I contend that the old guard of the machine has been dismissed and replaced by the new guard, Mayor Norris etc. Can you seriously tell me that anyone will have a chance to win a seat on council next go around without his blessing? My concern is that the new Machine is much more liberal than the old machine leaving the moderates among us searching for a voice. For ever new member they attract, they lose one who feel they no longer speak for them

quote: "...how exactly was anybody 'hand selected' to replace (Taliaferro)?"

Exactly what part of "working behind the scenes" do you not understand?

The process was actually right disgusting. Here people were shaking Taliaferro's and Baird's hands and smiling to their faces, while all along these same people had every intention of voting for Szakos and Brown.

While I can understand why people would like to be sheriff (the high salary, benefits and attractive retirment package, and they don't have to do a dayum thing while in office), I will neverstand why others even want to be on city council and sit in City Hall until 10 p.m., 11 p.m., and midnight so often!

I've also been told that Mayor Norris has hand picked the Planning Commission to carry out his housing agenda and pack the city with affordable housing --smart guy --but maybe not so good for the future of the Downtown Mall, unless they plan to double the police force.

Holy Crap! Steve, you've been busy here.

Dakota, don't believe much of anything that this blowhard says. To hear him tell it, he's already sued half the town and he's got compromising audio/video tape of the other half. Everybody lawyer-up - Steve Shifflett's coming to get us! What a clown.

Don't businesses get to say who they let on their property? Isn't that what all the fuss over those tea party people was about recently?

Cville Dem, I meant that none of the Dems I know personally supported him. there are many reasons for this, but everyone I know felt that either James or Phil Brown were far far better candidates.

I don't know Baird personally, and have no idea why Taliaferro & Co supported him. To be honest, I never asked them. I had a strong gut reaction that I didn't care for him for quite a few reasons, and then asked people I trust for their impressions. They concurred with my feelings, but I won't go into the specifics here. I never heard anyone say that any of these guys were special candidates that should be supported because Norris liked them. As a matter of fact, most of the people I know had a really hard time deciding between Phil and James. They're both great guys and each would make a fine Sheriff!

Oh dear, here we go again... Well, we're all guilty of jacking this thread. It's not about Kristin, Norris, Baird, or Taliaferro. But it is about Joe Szakos.

Go Joe! Thanks for asking important questions, speaking your mind, and exercising your right to free speech. It's invariably a good thing when someone confronts the insurance companies on their greed. On behalf of all the people who have paid their premiums year after year, only to be denied care when they needed it most, THANK YOU. On behalf of my friends who have died, THANK YOU.

quote: "Oh dear, here we go again”Š Well, we’re all guilty of jacking this thread."

But.... it was fun!

Even had a Gasbag fan club member show up again! :)

Ok, what happened, I went out to dinner and someone let crazy out. Damn, it was fun while it lasted

quote: "...anybody that could actually stay awake in a court room all day should be throw in jail for a psychiatric evaluation..."

Sherifs around Virginia agree with you. As a matter of fact, I was sworn in at Greene County weeks before I was dismissed in the city. Sheriff Morris said he had fallen asleep in court himself, and that it was pretty obvious my sheriff had a hidden agenda.

The fact of the matter is I had not been a good employee ever since nepotism and favoritism became the rule of the day in the city sheriff's office. And I admit it. They therefore were looking for a reason to get rid of me. I was fed up with friends and family getting all of the raises and promotions.

Another truth of the matter is the fact I had pretty much been up for three weeks without sleep while my father died of cancer, I was under doctor's care for the "sick building syndrome" and told to take off from work (which I didn't), and my daughter was recovering from a life saving surgical procedure. The man kicked me when I was down, it was the only way he could defeat me. And he knew it. :)

At the same time, EVERYBODy below the level of sergeant either resigned or was terminated. I wasn't the Lone Ranger.

Furthermore, every person who had ever worked in the city sheriff's officw has dozed off in court before. Maybe for 5 seconds, maybe for a minute. I watched them for decades while I was employed there. An assitant commonwealth's attorney walked in one day and kicked a deputy in the ankle to wake him up. Another fell asleep in the Federal Courthouse one day when we borrowed their courtroom, and without calling any names here, HE knows who HE is! :)

The crime should be Anthem employees asking a paying customer to leave their offices! Since when does an insurance company not have to answer questions posed by legitimate customers? God only knows you go in many circles trying to get answers by phone!

Give em hell Joe!

Hey Joe, if you think your premiums are too high, then shop around for another insurer. It's not complicated.

Fire Lake and CC: if you don't like your city council, shop around for another place to live. It's not complicated.

not if you don't agree with them, mequa! then they are evil, faceless bureaucrats.

"Democrats tossing their own under the bus and hand selecting others to take their place."

Are you insane? That was the most open and inclusive Party primary this town has ever seen. I'll agree that it was unfortunate that Taliaferro lost, but how exactly was anybody "hand selected" to replace him? Do you mean just because some in the Party encouraged Szakos to run against an incumbent? Last I checked, it's still a free country.

Haven't you and others long criticized the City Democratic Party for favoring "insiders" (whatever the hell that means) over "outsiders" (whatever the hell that means) like Szakos? So here we have an open primary with massive turnout, and idiots like you still find a way to criticize the process.

OK, I never thought these words would leave my lips, or fingers as the case may be. Steve Shifflett is right, Whew, there I said it. Kristen S and James Brown were hand picked by the Dem machine in the city to run and win. Mayor Norris all but endorsed both of them and worked tirelessly behind the scenes to get them elected. I remember a night at South Street where Mayor Norris, Kristen and James were raising money when Julian walked it, they had to scrap the plans and welcome the outsider as one of their own, sad.

re:"Here people were shaking Taliaferro’s and Baird’s hands and smiling to their faces, while all along these same people had every intention of voting for Szakos and Brown."

How does it work elsewhere? It's politics and only one person can win at a time. What exactly is wrong with Dave Norris supporting another candidate? What is wrong with being congenial to your opponents? Should people spit on the candidate they aren't supporting?

I must be missing something because I don't understand what the fuss is.

nice try, but wrong. Ask any long term city employee.

This conversation is very interesting, but very far afield from the topic at hand regarding Mr. Szakos’ actions. I find it interesting that Mr. Szakos’ wife (our new City Council person) threatened me personally with police action for far, far less than what Mr. Szakos did at Anthem. I simply tried to engage Ms. Szakos on her record via e-mail (quite politely BTW). For that she threatened to contact the police. Talk about a familial double standard.

However, the concept regarding Mr. Szakos’ actions are relatively simple to grasp: If Mr. Szakos is a customer of Heinz Ketchup, then does Mr. Szakos have the right to show up at the Heinz headquarters anytime he wants? Of course not; this thing at Anthem was simply a publicity stunt and a perfect example of the ââ?¬Å?real” problem in politics today. No one really wants to actually ââ?¬Å?deal” with ââ?¬Å?issues”; folks on both sides of the political aisle just spout off ideology and pander to the media (or in this case self-made media via You Tube).

People are too entrenched in their beliefs to even consider for a second that the other person may be right (or even partially right). There is no longer any type of dialogue; just staged ââ?¬Å?events” like what Mr. Szakos has done here.

Conversely, if one really wants to move forward with a thoughtful act of civil disobedience, then go ALL THE WAY. Don’t do what Mr. Szakos did here. That was just lame.

Regarding Mayor Norris, I know from personal experience that Mayor Norris is not the polite person that he seems to be. ââ?¬Å?Oh my god” is absolutely right. While I’m not an official ââ?¬Å?Democrat”, I’ve been a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party [hell, I voted for Dukakis for goodness sake ââ?¬â?? apparently I was one of only four people nationwide to do so :-) ]. However, the Democratic Party here is Charlottesville is most definitely turning me off (well, that and the monumentally poor campaign run by Deeds). Moderates absolutely do not have a voice in the current Charlottesville Democratic Party.

Best Wishes & Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Liberals take over when services get too low.

Conservatives take over when taxes get too high.

Just be patient. Liberals are incapable of fiscal restraint.

The tides will turn.

@Oh my god-- I've never heard a single long term city employee express that opinion. Sorry, but you're exaggerating.

@Ernie-- you were told wrong. Think about it. How can the mayor be the lone person handpicking Planning Commission members when, in reality, the entire City Council interviews the candidates and votes on them?

RC,
"I don’t know a single Dem that supported Baird”Š at any point in the campaign."

Seriously? I find that hard to believe. I supported Mike. Along with many other very active Democrats.

It tickles me to see people discussing the position of sheriff. I'll bet that 1/2 of one percent of the population in the city has no clue that not one person who has held the position since Raymond Pace died in office has known anything about the job. They all depended on good competent staff that already existed in the office to pull them along by the boot straps and make them look good.

The only exception to the above was the very brief time period Dave Duncan was appointed to finish out the term J. W. Rittenhouse never completed. Dave wasn't good enough for the Democrats though, he lost the nomination to run in the next election to a cop who had walked the mall for many years.

A town drunk can be "a fine sheriff" and do the job as long as the existing staff knows what needs to be done and how to do it.

Which brings me to an extremely funny tale. Back when Mannie Norford took over for Raymond Pace after Pace's death, Mannie went out with me one day to learn what a writ of possession was and how to execute it. We responded to the address, took possession of the items the court had directed us to repossess, and left. Later in the day the angry tenant had called in a frivilous complaint that I had been extremely careless and had broken several things in his home. Sheriff Norford advised the complainant that he would need to come in and file the complaint in writing. But Sheriff Norford also cautioned the tenant that he, the sheriff, was with me during the execution of the warrant, and that he would have to testify against the tenant if I elected to file a lawsuit against the tenant over filing a false complaint against me. Needless to say, that was the end of that complaint. :)

RC,

So I take it that in your attempt to validate your "gut reaction," you didn't bother to talk to Mike either? Too bad, (contrary to what Steve Shifflett is about to spew next) Mike is a great guy too and has been de facto running the Sheriff's office for Cornelia for the last several years, not to mention the fact that he has been a Party stalwart for years and has carried the water for untold numbers of Democratic candidates in that time. I'm happy for James - but I do feel like Mike got swept up in something a little bigger than a Sheriff's race.

Blah Blah Blah, Steve. Everybody knows this is all sour grapes over your getting canned from the Sheriff's department for sleeping on the job IN the courthouse.

ps - I think Mike Baird is a great guy too. Outside the sheriff's office. Prior to 2005, I would have sat down and drank a beer with him anywhere.

But I do not think he is sheriff material, now or ever. I don't even think he was deputy sheriff material when hired by his then sheriff father. And I was surprised to learn that Mike felt he could win the election on the Baird name recogintion alone. That dog don't hunt!

Mike's past also caught up with him during the nomination process. Especially the tale where a county Lt. responded to a disorder at the Fraternal Order of Police lodge one night. Once the Lt. arrived, he had to physically arrest people immediately. He called upon Mike to assist him. Mike refused and walked away. The Lt. filed a complaint with the sheriff. But the sheriff just so happened to be Mike's father, so I'm sure you know the rest of that story.

The Lt. is now retired and living in Arizona, but he will travel back to Virginia if you want this tale verified. And there's still quite a few hard feelings over this around the county police department. And this incident was discussed often when the debates over Baird vs Brown vs Brown came up during the nomination process. You don't walk off and leave a fellow law enforcement officer alone with a disorderly mob.

Sure Steve. Now tell us about how you got fired.

quote: "Blah Blah Blah, Steve. Everybody knows this is all sour grapes over your getting canned from the Sheriff’s department for sleeping on the job IN the courthouse."

Trust me, you can't embarrass me with this foolishness.

The allegation was "sleeping". I was suspended for it. I then filed a grievance complaint over the wrongful suspension.

I suppose the filing of said grievance procedure was "contempt of sheriff"? I was fired after filing this gievance complaint.

I had a history of winning grievance complaints. I had to file two during Sheriff Baird's tenure, and I prevailed in both. Nobody wanted to see me win a third grievance complaint? :)

It sure is funny how I have prevailed in so many false arrests, grievance complaints and lawsuits. I must be paying off the judges, eh?