Paper: prosecutor Robertson 'forgot his duty'

Staunton's porn-busting prosecutor Raymond Robertson has come under fire from his hometown newspaper because he allegedly "forgot his duty" by painting a 13-year-old girl as a temptress and helped to dismiss what he allegedly called "pretty excusable" charges against the man who would later be accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in the middle of a quiet Staunton street.

9 comments

This column blows. No chance of luring Barbara back or at least someone who can write, maybe someone who can at least spell?

C'mon, if you want to be the premiere alternative weekly in the city, deliver more than mediocrity.

This used to be one of the Hook's best features. No longer.

Yawn.

I sent the following email to Hawes Spencer, editor of the Hook:

Hawes,

This is in response to Alan Zimmerman's article 'Scam or Salvation?' in the 07.12-07.18 issue of the Hook.

6 weeks ago, Alan called me in response to Waldo Jaquith's claim on the Cvillenews blog that I am a scam artist. I responded at length on the blog as to how I run my business and I met Alan for lunch to explain how my business works. Alan presented himself as non-judgemental, but with a slant toward siding with the oppressed consumer - in other words, I was there to defend myself from a claim that Waldo admits in Alan's article is based on zero knowledge of me or my business. I said everything I needed to say in the blog, but met with Alan to clear up any misunderstanding (lack of knowledge) as he would potentially write an article seen by the readership of the Hook.

I invite you to read the full exchange at http://www.cvillenews.com/2007/05/27/foreclosures-climb/ and decide for yourself the level of fairness and professionalism Alan demonstrated in this article. After reading this article, I have lost such professional respect for Alan that I have no desire to comment on the article at length. Everything I need to say on the subject I have written in the blog. Out of professional and intellectual respect for me, I would have expected Alan at least to reference the blog so interested readers could read my perspective in entirety. That, and to have spelled my name correctly (although perhaps just as well, as this article is understandably not one with which I want to associate my name).

As an aside, since the interview I have partnered with a long-time, well-known, and well-respected local builder and will be switching my business focus from buying houses with creative financing to building and selling new residential and commercial property. If possible, this further diminishes the journalistic value of Alan's article which, unfortunately, reflects negatively on the Hook.

Sincerely,

Dr. Dominick T. Montie
DMT Properties

Ummmm... What is this article attempting to be about this week? Hate to sound like an English teacher, but I don't even understand the relationship of the title to the article. What is the "connection" between the "increasing number of foreclosures in the area" and the signs that are posted? Is the author suggesting that Mr. Monte is CAUSING the problem? My understanding is that the individuals that buy the houses help SOLVE the problem, by offering an option to foreclosure. I'm not sure if this is an article about the housing problem in Cville or an airing of some personal vendetta against a local businessman. The phrase "largely semantic debate" got me curious...so I read the blog quoted by Zimmerman. Now THAT'S an interesting read! Mr. Monte's (Whose name is actually Montie as I learned on the blog) participation in said "debate" is both thoughtful and thorough. I invite curious readers to see the full debate at the following address:
http://www.cvillenews.com/2007/05/27/foreclosures-climb/

Just picked up the new hook. I buy houses and resell them for profit, so I guess it can be said that I am in the "We Buy Houses" business. (Kind of thought this was entrepreneurial, not hedonistic)

Mr. Zimmerman: if your buddy (Jaquith) has "zero knowledge" of the DMT business and you cannot find anyone with whom Monte has done business, then can you tell me who this guy has wronged? I would be LIVID if this article had been written about me. It seems like a lynching at its worst and slander at its best.

I myself have a negative perception of lawyers. Weren't you once one Mr. Zimmerman? What if I did a GENERAL story about the field of Law and my uneducated perceptions of it and used YOU as an example (punching bag).

I don't know much about Lawyers (so I don't publish my opinions in local papers)...but I have to wonder if you or The Hook might need one in the near future.

Business is business. Do not buy a house if you cannot afford it. Sell it before it forecloses and save your credit. If you list it on the market, who knows how long will take and how much you have to spend fixing it up. People are lucky there are buyers like Montie who can afford to buy your house and hopefully you will learn from your mistake so that you will not be in the same boat.

Now, if someone would just attach "We Buy Parking Lots" signs to some old oaks, business could, verily, ensue. Perhaps the good doctor (Montie) makes a bid for the Water Street lot. This citizen's share is (again) for sale - for $5000. Jim Berry (CPC President) is having a devil of a time making a deal work for the myriad players involved, including Wachovia, and Bank of America. A former Jefferson National Bank officer stands willing and able to help, not inclined to turn the tables, and terminate the leadership, or lack therof, just yet.

The Virginia real estate company shall soon be disposed.
One hopes, before a "sweetheart deal" is disclosed!
All debts being paid, however, one ought expect not the forthwith decree: "Foreclosed!"

I'm new to blogging, but this discussion caught my attention. What are the "rules" of this blog? If I want to make a post do I have to clearly identify what is fact versus what is opinion, or, does anything go?

Please take it easy on me if this question is dumb, remember, I am a NEWBIE.

As a local investor, I read the original article and was shocked, and quite frankly, outraged. It's a complete lack of responsible journalism to write about something and have no real knowledge of the topic.

Unfortunately, in recent years, many people bought more house than they could afford, and with rising ARM's are finding themselves in a precarious position. If there's no equity in the house and the homeowner has to sell the house at a loss - and doesn't have the money in the first place to come out of pocket at the closing table -- what then? Times being what they are, with foreclosures going into an all time high and still rising, this creates a place in the market for real estate investors to help someone out while also making a living for themselves. This is not the only situation. Death/probate, deliquent taxes, fire damage, relocation, divorce, etc. There's a myriad of reasons someone may need to sell their home quickly and need help. It's the American Way to find a niche and fill it. I am helping these folks and just like anyone else should be able to make a reasonable profit for my time vested, otherwise why do it for a living? Do you work for free? Now if you own a home that is in perfect retail shape, have time to wait for it to sell, and have equity, then you have no need for my services. However, there are alot of people out there with houses that aren't "retail ready" by any means. You would be shocked to see some of the houses I've been in, and how some people live, or what bad shape their house is in because they couldnt afford to do the repairs.

Granted, as in any other business field, there are the rare people whose motives may not be so honorable. It is in everyone's best interests to do their due diligence, including the investor. You'd be surprised how people will try to sell a house and not disclose information. I have no problems answering questions and encourage the buyers/sellers I work with to educate themselves. Knowledge is power. But to generalize that everyone who does real estate investing is a "scam artist" is just foolhardy and irresponsible. You would do well to better research your topics in the future and present both sides, unbiasly. If you're not sued by Mr. Montie, he's a better and more forgiving person than I.

Shannon....Did you even read the article? It presents Mr. Montie's side of things, Mr. Jaquith's side of things, mentions the lending problem you site, and quotes two lending field experts. At no time does the writer assume to be an expert on the subject or state any opinions. At no time does the writer declare that it's a scam or accuse Mr. Montie of being a scam artist. In fact, early on Mr. Montie is given a chance to refute such accusations. What exactly would Mr. Montie sue the writer for saying?

Where in the article does it generalize that "everyone who does real estate investing is a "scam artist"?