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When Attorneys Lie, Justice Is Subverted

By Greg L | 1 October 2007 | Rack & Roll Scandal | 20 Comments

On September 10th, the Manassas Park Planning Commission held a rather unusual hearing regarding the Conditional Use Permit of Rack n’ Roll Billiards in which City Attorney Dean Crowhurst disclosed that former Vice-Mayor and current Planning Commissioner Kevin Brendel had taken lewd nude photographs of underage girls and that the city had this evidence of what amounts to the production of child pornography without saying that it had turned this evidence over to law enforcement. But that’s not the only unusual thing that Dean Crowhurst did that night.

Here’s a clip of his testimony before the Planning Commission:

The key here is that the Manassas Park City Attorney is saying that he hadn’t heard anything about importing drug dealers from Dumfries into Rack n’ Roll in order to conduct drug deals with undercover operatives, and that the ABC hearing commissioner “certainly hadn’t given it any merit, because it wasn’t ruled on.” You’d think that a City Attorney wouldn’t tell the Planning Commission things that he certainly should have known were not true. (For a detailed discussion of this incident, click here.)

On September 5th, the City of Manassas Park filed a brief with the 4th Circuit where not only does it admit that this operation happened, but goes into some detail about how and why it did, although it clearly mis-characterizes the actions of David Ruttenberg. Now how does Dean Crowhurst say he “hasn’t seen anything to support that claim” to the planning commission when the city filed a brief not only supporting that claim but confirming it five days before he made these statements? You can either conclude that City Attorney Dean Crowhurst is either terrifically uninformed about the very recent legal positions the city has taken, or he’s telling the planning commission a deliberate lie.

It’s kind of interesting that the brief that Ruttenberg attempted to provide the Planning Commission previously, and which was confiscated from the homes of the Planning Commissioners referenced this incident. Crowhurst described this brief as “inflammatory” on September 10th, which would suggest that he’s actually read the material he prevented the Planning Commissioners from reading. Also in that packet was the City’s opposing brief, provided by Ruttenberg, in order to balance the information provided. Regardless, Crowhurst decided to personally censor this information provided to the Planning Commissioners by a constituent. How nice of him.

As far as what happened at the ABC hearing his characterization that the hearing officer didn’t give it merit is a pretty untruthful representation of what happened. When Manassas Park Police Chief Evans was on the stand, between his attempts to evade questions and the objections of City attorneys to even allow this testimony to be heard, it’s clear that the hearing officer never had the opportunity to even hear the evidence, much less consider whether it had any merit. The transcript here shows a rather blatant attempt to suppress evidence which might have had a significant impact on this case, which is pretty disturbing for a layman like myself. When the case agent for the 2003 set-up operation took the stand, the city didn’t allow him to even talk about this prior attempt at a set-up, claiming that the prior behavior of the police was irrelevant somehow to what happened only a year later. Despite this attempt to conceal this evidence, the ABC decision does in fact reference this incident because Ruttenberg himself talked about it and doesn’t at all seem to claim it never happened. The record acknowledges that it did.

So where does Crowhurst get off saying that the ABC decision didn’t find that Ruttenberg’s story about this was without merit? I understand that the City Attorney has an obligation to vigorously defend the legal interests of the City in court, but where is it stated in his job description that he must lie to the Planning Commission and misrepresent legal proceedings to them in order to get them to rule in a way that would please the Mayor? Isn’t there some standard of professional conduct that applies to attorney’s generally that says they shouldn’t be liars?

Here’s the story of what happened here from Dave Ruttenberg, and this story is consistent with the recent filings by the City of Manassas Park, the ABC hearing transcript, and the other evidence collected regarding this incident:

The Planning Commission is meeting again tomorrow, and probably will take this Conditional Use Permit review up again after it was tabled at the last meeting. There’s no public hearing on this if they do, and no opportunity for citizens to air their views on this issue outside of Citizen’s Time during the meeting. If some bold patriot in Manassas Park wants to stand up for responsible government tomorrow night, this is something that the Planning Commission should definitely be informed about.

Our public servants shouldn’t be acting this way. When they do, they need to be held accountable.

UPDATE:

Here’s Crowhurst trying to defend his censorship of the material Ruttenberg sent to the members of the Planning Commission at the hearing on September 10th:

Crowhurst doesn’t mention that both side’s briefs were included in that packet, making it fairly balanced. But since Crowhurst doesn’t think the commissioners have the brain cells needed to evaluate the information and pick out what is accurate and what is not, he decided to confiscate the information from the homes of the Commissioners. This is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen.



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20 Comments

  1. Clean it up in '07 said on 1 Oct 2007 at 6:58 am:
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    Crowhurst needs to go to the same cell as Nifong…..after he is disbarred!!

  2. Loudoun Insider said on 1 Oct 2007 at 9:01 am:
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    I ask again - where is Paul Ebert, the State Police, and the FBI?

  3. Anonymous said on 1 Oct 2007 at 9:12 am:
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    What does film critic Paul Ebert have to do with this?

    [Ed note: the reference is likely to Prince William Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert.]

  4. James Young said on 1 Oct 2007 at 9:19 am:
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    It’s also a specific ethics violation under the Rules of Professional Conduct in virtually every jurisdiction.

    I’m a little confused about the dates, though. Do you mean last October 10th, Greg? Or is this a typo, and you meant September 10th?

    [Ed note: You’re correct about it being September 10th. Thanks for the catch. The post had been updated.]

  5. The Patriot said on 1 Oct 2007 at 9:25 am:
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeTD3cNBnBU&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Efiresociety%2Ecom%2Fforum%2Fthread%2F18074%2FMexican%2Dgang%2Dbangers%2Dassault%2Dprotesters%2Din%2DLA%2DP%2EA%2EN%2E%2DMexico%2Devent%2D%2Dyoutube%2D%2F
    I had to post this…..this is video of a recent protest in Lynwood, CA. I thought they were here to be peaceful and work hard! NOT!

  6. Nick Castle said on 1 Oct 2007 at 9:44 am:
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    How long until the entire Manassas Park government is brought down? This is a huge abuse of power, and maybe criminal. Greg and others have done a great job researching this. Imagine what maybe lurking out there waiting to be discovered.

  7. k. o'toole said on 1 Oct 2007 at 9:47 am:
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    Patriot, thanks for link. Lovely immigrants - such a good example to their children.

  8. The Patriot said on 1 Oct 2007 at 9:55 am:
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    http://www.hometownstation.com/illegal-alien-welfare-2007-09-28-11-41-4.html
    “LA County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has announced that a new report shows illegal aliens and their families in Los Angeles County collected over $35 million in welfare and food stamp allocations in July.”

    This figure does NOT include the medical, education, etc. Now just imagine…this is only one county!

  9. Clean it up in '07 said on 1 Oct 2007 at 10:06 am:
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    Let’s focus here. We need to start to file Va. Sate Bar complaints against the Manassas Park City Attorney to start the possible disbarrment process. As I understand it, you must be a citizen of Manassas Park to have standing to do that.

    Anyone willing?

  10. Anonymous said on 1 Oct 2007 at 10:09 am:
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    Has no one provided the information on the Manassas Park case to the state attorney general for investigation?

  11. Anonymous said on 1 Oct 2007 at 10:25 am:
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    The Patriot 1 Oct 2007 at 9:25 am video:

    Yep, let’s give them a path to citizenship. They only came here to provide for their families and send 23 billion bucks a year back to mexico. Let’s expand our visa programs so we can import more of this trash! Notice the Che t-shirts?

  12. monticup said on 1 Oct 2007 at 10:41 am:
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    Has anyone called Judicial Watch re: the corrupt MP attorney?

  13. James Young said on 1 Oct 2007 at 11:56 am:
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    There is no “standing” requirement for the filing of Bar complaints. Anyone with knowledge of a potential ethics violation may do so.

    Of course, if one has no relationship to the matter, one risks inviting the charge of being an “officious intermeddler,” if one does so.

  14. Anonymous said on 1 Oct 2007 at 12:11 pm:
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    This area should be taking note of Dallas’ method of cleansing their illegal aliens.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/092807dnmetrallyfolo.2be87b3.html

  15. SusanK said on 1 Oct 2007 at 2:03 pm:
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    Anyone who wants can file a bar complaint. Depending on how the state bar’s disciplinary committee works, they may not care that you are not an actual party to the dispute. Plus, if you frame it in terms of “bringing disrepute to the legal profession,” they generally won’t care who it is from if the actions are as egregious as lying to a court or tribunal.

  16. Krutis said on 1 Oct 2007 at 2:31 pm:
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    monticup - Judicial Watch would LOVE this! Big headed Tom Fitton would get a virtual feather in his oversized cap. His lawsuit in Herndon fizzled, totally, yet he insists that his action way back, is what closed the day laborer center. So go with Tom! What a great guy! At least, he thinks so.

  17. Loudoun Insider said on 1 Oct 2007 at 2:33 pm:
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    I was trying to get some attention for the ongoing political corruption issues in Loudoun County from the State Attorney General’s office, and they basically blew me off saying that perhaps the federal invesitgative agencies could be helpful. They look at themselves purely as the state government’s attorney it seems, even though I believe they have some oversight authority over the individual Commonwealth’s Attorneys. The CAs have far too much disrection, and there must be somewhere to turn other than the federal government. I have started to raise the alarm that a special prosectuotr needs to be appointed for politcal corruption cases in Loudoun County, but it is obvious we need the same thing in PWC. A state-level Special Prosecutor for these types of cases is urgently needed. We should think about starting some type of petition or movement to press for this. I would bet Bob McDonnell would be for it, but he needs to see a grassroots outpouring of demand for it.

  18. Dave B. said on 2 Oct 2007 at 7:38 am:
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    “I ask again - where is Paul Ebert, the State Police, and the FBI?”

    Obviously they feel no crimes have been committed or else they would be here. Batson has said that it is because they all scratch each others’ backs, but I just think it’s because they are crafty enough to know what they can get away with and what they can’t. There will be nothing done about this. The only solution to those of us that live in Manassas Park is to pack all your $h1t and move to a different town. This town is overrun by corrupt officials and illegal aliens and nothing will change that, as sad as it is to say. This is the town that Virginia forgot.

    I was taking a walk with my girlfriend yesterday and man this town is a mess. Tons of houses for sale and most likely in or near foreclosure, thugs hanging out on every corner, out of control kids running around in the streets, trash, etc. I’m going to have to buy a .38 special to use as my walking protection. I couldn’t help but notice the new police station and the shops that they are building next to it, the new $35M school they have planned and wonder how in the HELL they plan to pay for these things. This town will soon be bankrupt and they have to know this by now. With any luck PWC will just absorb it when they can no longer pay the bills. I give this town 6-12 months before it goes bankrupt.

  19. RACK N ROLL BILLIARD CLUB said on 2 Oct 2007 at 9:19 am:
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    Dave B.

    This does seem overwheming, and your right about what they think they can get away with.

    DO NOT GIVE UP.

    Yesterday the planning commission voted to recommend revocation of RNR’s permit.

    Maybe Dean should run around and hide everyone’s computer.

    Cuz BVBL is just getting warmed up.

    Stay tuned, from here on out it gets interesting.

  20. MP Resident said on 3 Oct 2007 at 2:30 pm:
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    Did anyone see the half-built foreclosure at 107 Crozet St in MP?

    The best part is, in the MLS it states:


    Bank Owned.Please note this one needs CASH OFFERS ONLY. WALK THE PROPERTY AT YOU OWN RISK.NO PLANS OR PERMITS, ARE AVIALABLE.Bring your builder to finish this house.”

    No plans or permits?

    Incidentally, they want $209K for it. They wanted $230K for it a week ago.

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