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A Swing And A Miss

By Greg L | 13 September 2007 | Rack & Roll Scandal | 9 Comments

The Manassas Journal-Messenger took a stab at reporting what happened at Tuesday’s meeting of the Manassas park Planning Commission, and pretty much missed the story and a lot of the facts. The article looks like it was written after extensively interviewing Manassas Park City Attorney Dean Crowhurst, and getting only a soundbite or two from David Ruttenberg, the operator of Rack n’ Roll billiards. While the internet is ablaze with talk about Dean Crowhurst outing one of the members of the Planning Commission in a child pornography scandal, the MJM doesn’t mention it at all. That’s the real story here, but you’re not going to learn about it reading the MJM.

It’s telling here that the MJM didn’t even intend to talk to David Ruttenberg about this, and Ruttenberg had to call the reporter to have a last-minute chance to provide his side of the story. They certainly did talk to Dean Crowhurst, however, and even passed on his take on this without any attempt to validate the information provided. As a result, this article is a train wreck of misstatements and falsehoods about what has happened, and a huge disservice to the public. The reporter here, Kipp Hanley, is someone who I’ve dealt with before, and found to be objective and reasonable, and I’m really surprised by this article. This isn’t what I’m used to seeing from Hanley at all.

There’s the characterization of the two, that’s right, two warm sample bottles of beer provided by a distributor seized in the raid as “unauthorized alcohol on the premises”. The “illegal drug use” the article mentions was entirely the result of police officers engaging their officers and paid informants in drug buys at Rack n’ Roll in a pretty brazen attempt to portray his business as a drug den when it wasn’t. Best of all, the “public nudity” they mention was the result of the actions of the then Vice-Mayor of the City, who seems to have operated at the direction of the City to obtain false evidence of lewd behavior at Rack n’ Roll.

This one is a whopper:

This May, Judge Leroy F. Millette found the city council “properly and fairly denied” the new permit but remanded the matter to the council to review the original permit to determine whether all conditions therein have been satisfied since Feb. 4, 1997.

Actually, the judge found that Rack n’ Roll had a property interest in the Conditional Use Permit that had been originally granted, and while the Governing Board had denied a renewal Conditional Use Permit, there was no need to have a renewal Conditional Use Permit in the first place since the original one was still legally in effect.  The Governing Board had improperly expired the original permit, and in this case Ruttenberg had won.  That the city had properly and fairly denied an unnecessary and extraneous permit is pretty immaterial.  The article makes it appear that Ruttenberg had lost, something that a little bit of fact checking would have easily determined to not be the case at all.

As soon as I get a chance, I’m going to have to post some of this meeting up on YouTube.  Citizens need to see for themselves the farce that happened here.

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  1. manassascityresident said on 13 Sep 2007 at 8:33 am:
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    MJM also blasted Corey Stewart in the “our opinion” section. Two letters to the editor also attacking Corey. Planned attack by the MJM? Wouldn’t surprise me. Unbelievable.

  2. citizenofmanassas said on 13 Sep 2007 at 9:03 am:
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    The MJM also ran the following story yesterday.


  3. manassascityresident said on 13 Sep 2007 at 9:22 am:
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    COM -
    I saw that one as well - right across from the sections I mentioned above. What a bunch of knuckleheads….

  4. Sal said on 15 Sep 2007 at 8:06 am:
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    Being from from New York and reading this blog, the thing that makes me wonder what the F is going on in MP is that this pornography guy is still serving as an official. If the knuckleheads in MP know about this, what moron would appoint the guy to anything? Do they actually know about this guy? And whose responsibility is it to appoint him to anything, even a trash collector?

    The other thing is this. Ruttenberg seems completely paranoid, so its hard to tell whats really true or not. Unless lightning strikes him every Tuesday, what makes some shlump running a pool hall so important that city, state, feds and every politician want him out, destroyed, mangled, crushed, abused, etc. etc? Couldnt it be that the guy has some responsibility in this? It was his bar. He did hire the bozos. He did know all these bad asses. Just using a statistical approach, the chances are greater that Ruttenberg had something to do with his situation than 40,000 other people all coming together to conspire at one time in some complex crazy scheme that only helped (who?) and only harmed Ruttenberg. Paranoia is a mental illness that strikes more often than real conspiracies. Sure there is a lot of incompetence on the part of MP, but Ruttenberg seems like a nut. And if everyone was against him, why did the one judge side with him? Was it because the judge wasn’t on the take (like apparently all the other ones in this JFK conspiracy), or was it because maybe sometimes even a blind squirrel finds an acorn?

    People up here in NY are paranoid about everything, so I hear this crazy paranoid stuff all the time. We have jerks who think 9/11 was cooked up by the people IN the trade center as a way to generate sympathy. This nuttiness takes the pressure off of people who want attention and have to explain their own screw ups.

    Look, I’m not judging Ruttenberg, or this whole mess, beause it sounds like no one has a clue about how to deal with the situation. But I think stupidy and mental illness say more to all this than these fantastic plots involving every cop, prosecutor, city official, businessman and anyone who disagrees with the prevailing sentiment. Maybe someone ought to approach this matter from the angle of mental illness. There might be better results.

    In the meantime, someone should ask whether this porn guy is still working for city hall. And they should ask whether any others are doing it, too. If MP is letting someone they know is a sexual predator work for it, how many others that they dont know are? Were any other MP officials ever working for Ruttenberg? Was the Mayor? Maybe the MP attorney? How about the governor? How about all the illegal aliens? How about the reporters for the paper? How about you Greg? What are your connections to this vast conspiracy?

    OK, go ahead and beat on me. I’m from New York and I can take it.

  5. David Ruttenberg said on 15 Sep 2007 at 10:19 am:
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    Paranoia is a heightened sense of awareness :)

  6. Polititians for porn.com said on 15 Sep 2007 at 10:57 am:
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    Sal, by llooking thru the Rack N Roll Scandal Archive you can get the picture of why it was so important for the city to get Ruttenberg out. Several Million in property acquisition costs could be avoided. They needed the racy pics to convince the city council to throw him out, but, they had to keep it quiet that the vice mayor was responsable for them. The mayor controlled the pics since 2004. That’s why it appears they didn’t know about. And why the vice-mayor quietly kept his position. My guess is when its all over the city will quietly take Brendel for “a ride”. Being from NY you will know what that means.

  7. AWCheney said on 15 Sep 2007 at 7:01 pm:
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    “Unless lightning strikes him every Tuesday, what makes some shlump running a pool hall so important that city, state, feds and every politician want him out, destroyed, mangled, crushed, abused, etc. etc?”

    Sal, I’ve been involved in this situation for more than 2 years now…on David’s side. I found out about it from the blogs, specifically, a link provided by Chad Dotson (Commonwealth Conservative, now no longer in existence) who is now a judge down in Southwest Virginia, which sent me to the Agitator (Radley Balko) which had a very detailed description of the paramilitary raid on David’s establishment, as well as links to some of the legal documentation. I was stunned that something like that could be going on in my backyard, so I did my own mini-investigation including, but not limited to, contacting Frank Jones (mayor of MP), whom I had met when I ran Harry Parrish’s (then Member of the House of Delegates) primary campaign in 2005.

    Frank’s reply to my inquiry sounded truly bizarre, which led me to look a bit deeper. He actually suggested that looking into, mind you, POSSIBLE police corruption was inappropriate for him at this time because it would be a conflict of interest according to the City Attorney. Like I said…bizarre. When I satisfied myself that there was really something corrupt going on here, I met David…and was firmly convinced. He had accumulated an incredible volume of evidence (videos, voice recordings, notarized testimonials and letters…many years worth), all of it damning for Manassas Park…and in a form that you would think would be irrefutable.

    I’ve seen the frustration he has endured because the FIRST thing the police and public officials did was ruin his reputation WITHOUT EVIDENCE (If they had evidence that he was a major drug dealer running an open air drug market, porn kingpin, child molester, and everything else that they’ve thrown at him over the past 18 years in that rumor mill he’d be in jail by now!) so that NO ONE in the legal community would even look at his evidence! Frankly, it’s surprising that David DIDN’T go nuts after all this…unless you call someone who is too trusting, naive, and would (and has) give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it is nuts. With all that happened to him up to the time that I first met him, he still trusted that the system would protect him (courts) so, perhaps, in that he was a little nuts. It’s a shame that more people aren’t like that…or should I say, it’s a shame that more people are not ABLE to be like that. The system is broken.

    I’M the one who brought the FBI into this and I’M the one who has been in touch with the Justice Department. I have my own theories as to why the system came crashing down upon David Ruttenberg’s head, and I believe it goes much deeper and farther into the past than just this corrupt City Council…and I’ve conveyed those theories to my JOD contact, who considers them feasible.

    David is not crazy…the Manassas Park police and officialdom are evil.

  8. AWCheney said on 15 Sep 2007 at 9:47 pm:
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    Correction: DOJ contact

  9. Rocket Science said on 15 Sep 2007 at 11:57 pm:
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    Like you, I am from New York and find it incredible that they would still allow some schmuck like this Brendel guy to be a moving target at this late juncture. I don’t really remember things like this happening on the Island or maybe they just did a better job of covering it up…

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