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FBI Investigation Launched In Manassas Park

By Greg L | 27 January 2007 | Rack & Roll Scandal | 8 Comments

FBI Agents have recently begun interviewing people in Manassas Park and asking those whom they’ve contacted questions about corruption surrounding the Dave Ruttenberg scandal. I talked to one of those individuals today, who had a lengthly discussion with two agents, and have heard from another that they’ve been contacted as well. Dave Ruttenberg himself has been contacted by an officer of the Virginia State Police, who apparently had “seen things on the internet”, but who was unaware that the prior State Police investigation was halted by Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert, so that investigation is extremely preliminary, and likely to be rolled into the active investigation that the FBI apparently is conducting.

This is great news for those interested in cleaning up the mess that Manassas Park has become, and dire news for a number of city officials who now are facing an investigation without the sort of protection that Paul Ebert provided earlier. I believe the end result of a properly conducted investigation will result in a number of criminal convictions and the utter demolition of the insider establishment’s grip on political power in Manassas Park. The FBI holds the promise to conduct a thorough investigation, without being subject to the political pressures that might derail a state or local investigation. Dave Ruttenberg has moved one step closer to vindication, and the citizens of Manassas Park have inched closer to obtaining the kind of representative government they so richly deserve to have.

It’s a good day for the good guys. Let’s see if the media finally starts running some stories.

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  1. AWCheney said on 27 Jan 2007 at 5:59 pm:
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  2. Had to Say said on 28 Jan 2007 at 12:37 pm:
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    They more than likely will now that the Fed’s are in on it. I think our small town newspapers were afraid to step on toes. What a joke.

    I hope everyone involved in this gets the book trown at them. Especially any cop that is involved. This whole senerio is scary and it’s hard to believe that this kind of stuff still happens in todays society.

  3. Golem said on 28 Jan 2007 at 6:23 pm:
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    Consider this:

    Americans generally believe that the United States is a nation of laws, not men. Not only are they immensely proud of that formula as the basis for a free nation and a free people, but they rely on it to protect themselves, all of them, from the kind of arbitrary abuse that inevitably flows from unchecked power. A critical element of this nation of laws, as established by the Constitution, is the concept of “due process of law.”

    What is “due process of law.” It is a system, designed to protect individual rights, whereby a person, believing he/she has been subjected to improper application of official power, may present his/her case to an impartial determiner (in the final analysis usually a court of law) which, based solely on the applicable evidence and law, will objectively decide right and wrong. It is an absolutely critical protection for American freedom but it can fail if it is used as a smokescreen to protect, instead of a check on, the powerful.

    In the Ruttenbergs’ case, their business (Rack N Roll) and David Ruttenberg were subjected, in their opinion, to offical abuse. For whatever reason, their business was attacked, they were subjected to allegations of wrongdoing, i.e., the four alleged ADMINISTRATIVE violations of the ABC regulations and their ABC license was revoked. This, for all intents and purposes and as designed by Manassas Park officaldom, destroyed their business of 18 years. (It is important to note that in all the years David has been under attack by Manssas Park, including the attempts to entrap him as shown by video and voice on this blog, and remembering that Lugo was spreading the word that David was a drug dealer as early as 2001, there has never been any such criminal charges even attemped against David).

    The Ruttenbergs, in their naivete, relied on due process of law. They put up a powerful defense before the ABC documented by a formal record (sworn testimony and exhibits) that is available for anyone to review. They presented strong evidence that:

    1. There was animosity between the Manassas Park officer, Mario Lugo, and David Ruttenberg that led Lugo (in 2001) to THREATEN TO DESTROY David and the business. This included testimony from Lugo’s superior Officer Larry Berry and a sworn statement by an RNR waitress which was later supported by personal sworn testimony by her at the ABC appeal in Richmond;

    2. In 2003, Lugo, offering leniency on a DWI charge to a girlfriend of David’s, used her to set up drug deals in Rack N Roll and planned a raid similar to the one that later occurred in June, 2004. A raid that was stopped when David became aware it was about to happen and complained to Chief of Police Evans. This is supported by sworn testimony of Manssas Park police officers;

    3. Beginning around February 2004, Lugo, working for the Narcotics Task Force as the “case agent” re Rack N Roll, made an agreement with one Jeffery Price to engineer drug deals in Rack N Roll. This is supported by the sworn testimony of Jeffery Price’s sister as well as that of David Ruttenberg who, as he testified before the ABC, overheard a conversation between Lugo and Price and was able to obtain the phone number from which Lugo called Price. There is additional evidence with respect to Price that I won’t go into here. The evidence is that THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO DRUG DEALING AT RACK N ROLL WITHOUT “POLICE SETUP” PRICE;

    4. Also around February 2004, Lugo co-opted Rack N Roll’s chief of security, Thomas Kifer. Kifer was charged by David with STOPPING drug dealing at Rack N Roll. Lugo’s assignment to Kifer was TO FACILITATE drug dealing. As the testimony at the ABC supports, Kifer became a paid informant and was given relief on probation requirements for his betrayal of David. Additionally, as testified to by his carpentry employer at the time, Joe Wilson, Kifer held a grudge against David and wanted, as did Lugo, to destroy David and the club. The Evidnece is that THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO DRUG DEALING AT RACK N ROLL WITHOUT “POLICE SETUP” KIFER.

    5. There is similar strong evidence in the ABC record that the single allegation of underage drinking by the ABC (the only one over an 18 year record) was a phony. Further, that the raiding party knew in advance of the warrantless raid, because they were told, by the Chief ABC agent John Loftis, that David’s private office was not covered by the ABC license. Accordingly, they knew in advance of the raid that the search of that office (during which they found absolutely nothing illegal) was an illgal search and seizure in violation of the 4th Amendment of the Constituttion;

    6. Finally (but not completely as there is much more), there is evidence in the ABC record that Lugo, Kifer and Robert White (the undercover Prince William County police officer (WHO WAS THE ONLY BUYER OF DRUGS AT RACK N ROLL DURING THE ENTIRE FEBRUARY THROUGH JUNE 2004 UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION) lied at the ABC hearing, i.e., committed perjury, in order to assure that Rack N Roll lost its ABC license and therefore would be forced out of business.

    All of the foregoing was dismissed out of hand by the ABC hearing officer who decided against Rack N Roll and David on every allegation. All of this was dismissed out of hand by the ABC appeal panel in Richmond who upheld the Hearing Officer. When the perjury charges were presented to the Virginia State Police, reviewed and presented to Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert for prosecution, he refused to prosecute. The Federal Court (Eastern District of Va.) would not let the case go to the jury because it refused to admit that the allegations of fabrication of evidence and perjury thereon amounted to a cause of action for violation of the Constitutional protection against deprivation of property without due process of law (14th Amendment) and then granted conditional immunity to the office searchers on the basis that they probably didn’t know the office was off limits. (This decision is now on appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond).

    The point of this overly long posting is that to date DUE PROCESS HAS FAILED MISERABLY. The point of this overly long posting is that all the new investigations will come to nothing if they, like what’s gone on in this matter in the past, ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A VEHICLE TO PROTECT THE POWERFUL (after all, as someone said to me just recently, who would take these jobs if the 4th and 14th Amendments were really enforced? - I answered, maybe somebody honest, ethical and honorable) rather than a fair and honest attempt, as they were intended and designed to be, to protect the public.

    This is not just the Ruttenbergs. All of you have a stake in this. Stand up and demand a thorough, objective, impartial investigation of this entire matter, OTB and all, or wait for your turn to be thrown to the wolves in the name of due process.

  4. Loudoun Insider said on 28 Jan 2007 at 6:52 pm:
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    Everybody needs to scream about this to everyone they know. Absolutely ridiculous.

  5. Anonymous said on 29 Jan 2007 at 6:01 am:
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    I post this way (as anon) and on some blogs that gets a certain amount of ridicule. But as I always have stated before, the path to justice in this case is the U.S. Dept. of Justice. I can assure you they know about it. The calvary is coming. I come from the school of thought that local government works best - but as you see here there are times when the hometown yahoos need the FEDS to sweep in, and I assure you, it will happen. There are residents in Manassas Park that have deep, deep connections into the US Attorney’s Office (hence the recent FBI interviews). This will (and as we speak) be taken care of swiftly and thoroughly. Keep up the good work all. This is comong to a head finally thanks to Greg L and the most effective blog in Virginia. I hope in due time I might be able to post on here under my real indentity. Maybe when all the Manassas Park officials are sentenced I’ll give you some of the pieces of that LAST piece of the puzzle.

  6. Loudoun Insider said on 29 Jan 2007 at 10:09 am:
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    The same thing is going on in Loudoun with the land development sleaze. It’s a shame the Commonwealth Attorneys are so compromised. We shouldn’t have to go to the feds, but it’s the only option left. People have tried to gain traction with the Attorney General’s office, but they say that these are local matters to be dealt with by the CAs. As a general state’s rights guy, I hate to see the feds involved at all. Maybe it’s time for Virginia to set up a Special Prosecutor office to tackle local corruption.

  7. J said on 26 Feb 2007 at 12:38 am:
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    If you think the FBI will solve this than you have very little understanding of how intertwined law enforcement really tends to be. The local police, county sheriff, state bureau of investigation, bureau of ATF and FBI all work together and they are friends. Not saying every law enforcement member is dirty or bad, but there are enough to tip off the targets of any investigation to ensure that they will hang low. Then when the investigation is over…. business as usual.

  8. Just Passing By said on 17 Mar 2007 at 11:52 am:
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    I just happened upon all this information while researching for 4th amendment violations by police. It certainly makes me wonder if the police acted improperly. The inital conflict between the detective and owner over a female is certainly a motivating factor for the detective…

    If the only dope arrests on site are the ones arranged by the cops for that location it sounds like it could be a set up. I live in N. VA. & never heard of this place before, is it the only bar in that town with dope users?

    Where there is smoke there is fire.

    Sadly, I wouldn’t give much stock in the FBI or Justice Department’s ability to get to the truth in anything.

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