Manassas Park Planning Commissioner and former Vice-Mayor Kevin Brendel had an interesting hobby. He liked to take lewd pictures of young girls — some of whom are reported to be a little less than the legal age — when he was moonlighting as a DJ at Rack n’ Roll. When the City found out about this, instead of referring this for possible prosecution (as you’d normally expect from people to swear an oath of office), the city decided to sit on this evidence and coerce Brendel to help them manufacture evidence against Rack n’ Roll’s owner David Ruttenberg, and force him to fall in line when voting on the Governing Board. Once he surrendered to this nice little blackmail, he made a very convenient choice for the Planning Commission after failing to retain his seat in the 2005 election, giving Frank Jones and Brian Polk a reliable proxy on the Planning Commission.
About 130 of these pictures Brendel took ended up in the city’s possession, and made the rounds of city officials when Frank Jones felt he needed to do a little arm twisting. When Ruttenberg’s appeal before the ABC board was heard, the city flat-out denied that any of these pictures existed. These non-existent pictures ended up being admitted into evidence during Ruttenberg’s ultimately successful appeal of a permit denial, but they were placed under protective order and Ruttenberg wasn’t allowed to even see what these were, much less have the ability to respond to this secret evidence.
More recently, City Attorney Dean Crowhurst admitted during a televised meeting of the Manassas Park Planning Commission that these pictures existed, and at least suggested that they demonstrate unlawful activity. Still no investigation has been opened, and the city still is refusing to let anyone see what evidence it is holding on to or explain why, if they suggest that Kevin Brendel engaged in the production of child pornography, Brendel is still sitting on the Planning Commission.
But we have some of these pictures now.
This is definitely one of the more tame pictures I received, which came to me from one of the subjects of these photos. Brendel himself gave her a CD with some of these photos, and after months of trying to track this story down, I managed to get my hands on some of them. As the story spreads, the leads finally seem to be opening up. I’ve talked with two other women who have direct knowledge of Brendel’s peculiar fascination with photographic arts, and some of the stories of Brendel taking young girls down to his basement for a late night photo shoot while his wife and kids were sleeping upstairs are deeply disturbing.
The City of Manassas Park is holding this photo and approximately 130 others taken by Brendel, but there’s rumored to be quite a few more the city has that don’t involve Rack n’ Roll. The city uses these when it’s to their advantage in their fight to destroy whoever the enemy of the month is, but won’t turn them over to law enforcement. Funny how they’re bad enough to smear someone, but not bad enough to prosecute the person who actually asked young girls to pose for him in the nude performing sex acts, among other things.
I wonder what the penalty is for city officials to conceal evidence of a crime, on top of the punishment for felony blackmail. Brendel is clearly wrong for behaving as he did, but to have city officials who have sworn to uphold the law engage in blackmail so they can pursue a vendetta against David Ruttenberg is wrong on so many, and much more disturbing levels. If a guy breaks the law, he can at least get his day in court to try to prove his innocence. When you’re blackmailed, you’re turned into someone’s slave, and there’s no opportunity to argue about justice.It’s time to call for criminal investigations. Manassas Park is absolutely out of control.
UPDATE: I’ve been told that Kevin Brendel is Cub Master for Cub Scout Pack 1370 and Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop 1370. I’ll bet the kids are having a heck of a time with this poor guy…
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