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And You Thought County Employees Worked For You?

By Greg L | 18 September 2008 | Prince William County | 26 Comments

The other day I showed readers how a political partisan with an axe to grind with the policies that the Board of Supervisors crafts a nice little video attacking those policies.  He provides a private, temporary link to this video and asks the county’s Communications Director, Chief Executive Officer and the Public Information Officer for the Prince William County Police Department to review the video and provide him with their input. Tonight, let’s take a look at what just how far those consulting services can extend.

So much for the idea that this whole effort is only about informing the public.  No, this is pretty clearly political activism, and the senior staff of the county is right there in the middle of it.  Here the county’s Communications Director not only provides consulting services to Eric Byler of UnitedForObama and “9500 Liberty”, but she personally reaches out and enlists the efforts of others. Just in case Eric can’t coordinate with Carlos Castro of the Ayuda Business Coalition which also opposes the Rule of Law Resolution, Liz Bahrns not only provides him with Eric’s request, but acts to forward Castro’s suggestions back to Eric Byler.  How nice of her.

The consensus of the result of Bahrns’ effors certainly seem to be that her efforts have significantly improved the video that Byler intends to use to attack the policies adopted by the Board of County Supervisors, and this is all happening with the full knowledge of County Executive Craig Gerhart. Bahrns works for Gerhart, and Gerhart is supposed to be working for the Board of Supervisors.  It’s pretty clear that these folks aren’t working for the people of Prince William County, but pursuing their own political agendas while they’re supposed to be be working for the public.  They even use county resources, in this case their email accounts, in order to do so.

No wonder Gerhart has opposed the creation of an Inspector General position within the county.  It would really put a damper on shenanigans like these.  Since the county’s personnel regulations have the legal force of a county ordinance, maybe law enforcement should be investigating these folks.

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  1. Vigilant1 said on 18 Sep 2008 at 11:14 pm:
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    What is the BOCS take on this situation or have they ignored it?

  2. starryflights said on 19 Sep 2008 at 4:50 am:
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    The BOCS really needs to step in and stop this practice immediately. I have to wonder what other BOCS policies are being undermined by these county employees. Who is really running the show here in PWC?

  3. love said on 19 Sep 2008 at 5:44 am:
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    The police force investigating this? Don’t make me laugh! Deane is in this up to his eyeballs.

  4. Anonymous said on 19 Sep 2008 at 6:05 am:
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    Forward this info to Stirrup. I’m sure he wouldn’t stand for this. It’s one thing for people to suggest something is going on, but quite another when their is a paper trail as shown.

  5. TedKennedysSwimInstructor said on 19 Sep 2008 at 8:28 am:
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    Prince William County Code

    Sec. 19-18. Political activities.

    (g) No officer or employee of the county shall use, or permit to be used, any thing, including vehicles, owned by the county, on behalf of or for the benefit of, any political organization or candidate for public office.

    (Ord. No. 78-31-20, § 13.4-22, 9-5-79)

    Sec. 19-19. Violations of section 19-17 or 19-18.
    (a) Any employee in the competitive service who willfully or knowingly violates, or acts in concert with others to violate, any provision of section 19-17 or 19-18, or any personnel regulation relating thereto, shall have given prima facie cause for immediate dismissal from the county service. Any employee terminated under the provisions of this section may file a grievance where otherwise permitted to do so.
    (b) Any person who willfully or knowingly violates, or acts in concert with others to violate, any provision of section 19-17 or 19-18, or any personnel regulation relating thereto, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    (c) Any officer, employee or other person who is convicted or discharged from the competitive service under the provisions of this section shall, during a period of five years thereafter, be ineligible for appointment to, or employment in, any position in the county service.
    (Ord. No. 78-31-20, § 13.4-24, 9-5-79)

    Source: http://www.municode.com/Resources/gateway.asp?pid=14114&sid=46

  6. Brentsville Graduate said on 19 Sep 2008 at 8:32 am:
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    They should have used Yahoo email accounts like Palin, so they could avoid this whole FOIA mess! :)

  7. Brian Leeper said on 19 Sep 2008 at 12:21 pm:
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    “They should have used Yahoo email accounts like Palin, so they could avoid this whole FOIA mess!”

    If I were in charge of IT at the County external email services would be firewalled. I think I might even have an IDS detecting attempts to use one.

  8. ben said on 19 Sep 2008 at 10:44 pm:
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    can you say corruption?

  9. Arlington Minority said on 20 Sep 2008 at 1:36 am:
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    Separating activist politics from bureaucracies is like separating it from black churches. Certain agendas are exempt from the rules that apply to the rest of us. Corruption is far too kind a word for it. Civic perversion is closer.

  10. ben said on 20 Sep 2008 at 8:34 am:
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    I bet the county has spent more time with byler and his interviews than with the FOIA requests the cheif has stated they have had to work on.

  11. ben said on 20 Sep 2008 at 9:24 am:
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    wonder how much saff time was used for bylers requests and interviews? how much did that cost?

  12. Anonymous said on 20 Sep 2008 at 11:33 am:
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    “The police force investigating this? Don’t make me laugh! Deane is in this up to his eyeballs.”

    As usual, Deane is just displaying another example of his pathetic self. Really, isn’t it time for the geezer to retire? Make sure he takes his merry little gang of senior staff with him.

  13. Love The USA said on 20 Sep 2008 at 2:57 pm:
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    I agree with Anonymous

  14. Anonymous said on 20 Sep 2008 at 9:28 pm:
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    I am shocked that someone would call King Deane a geezer.

  15. ATLAS said on 20 Sep 2008 at 10:38 pm:
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    I hate to look at these folks because of what they are doing to our county. Why aren’t these folks being reprimanded? Or are they and we don’t know about it?

  16. le said on 21 Sep 2008 at 8:35 am:
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    Did Stirrup ever ask Principi or Gerhart if Principi gave instructions to Gerhart to supply any of his help to Byler? I wouldn’t be surprised if Principi is implicated since he shows up in Byler videos cavorting with the Twisted Sisterhood.

  17. Anonymous said on 21 Sep 2008 at 8:54 am:
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    Who is it now that is responsible for Woodbridge? Who ever it is he or she is doing one hell of a job, NOT. Who is responsible for the steady decay over the past 10 or so years. Someone sure wasn’t working for the town’s future. Was it the lack of leadership, or the type of people moving into the town that caused the decay? Someone should create a group to analyze what happened and why so that it’s not repeated elsewhere.

  18. Anonymous said on 21 Sep 2008 at 10:11 am:
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  19. ben said on 21 Sep 2008 at 11:58 am:
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    and frank is hildas puppet

  20. freedom said on 21 Sep 2008 at 12:03 pm:
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    …but wait a minute….Hilda and Frank’s hearts are in the right place…they WANT the best for Woodbridge
    !! Please, stop being so hard on them!

  21. starryflights said on 21 Sep 2008 at 1:06 pm:
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    Woodbridge has tuned into a cesspool. Hilda did a get job and now that her prodigy is in place it should fester nicely.

  22. starryflights said on 21 Sep 2008 at 1:23 pm:
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    Should be Hilda did a great job in turning Woodbridge into a cesspool.

  23. info said on 21 Sep 2008 at 2:27 pm:
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    Sound familiar?
    Lake Co. sheriff says 21.5% of jail inmates illegal immigrants. Curran said they are charged with half of the 14 murders in the county so far this year.


  24. miss lucy said on 21 Sep 2008 at 3:07 pm:
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    my conclusion: well entrenched, largely unimpressive (check out their qualifications and watch their presentations) liberal senior staff runs the show, not the elected conservatives, is this not obvious to all?

  25. Anon said on 21 Sep 2008 at 11:36 pm:
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    I have lived in the Route 1 corridor for over 40 years. It was always referred to as the ghetto when we were in school. However I can tell you it was NOTHING like it is now. We use to be able to ride the back trails around De-Rays market and when 7-11 first came to Longview and Rt 1 along with the shops in Marumsco Plaza and take the side roads to Veterans Park.

    Is the problem around Rt 1 100 % illegal immigrant problem…NO.

    Is it a problem that large amount of people are allowed to gather under the trees denuding the ground, breaking down the plants and piling up crates under the trees and making the place look a mess….Yes

    Is it long standing business and new businesses that that refuse to keep a neat business front…YES

    Is it all the car dealers that donate to some of the BOCS that continue to break the rules and park all over the place on the grass denuding the ground and making a mess of the landscaping…..YES

    Is it the 35 year old business expanding illegally moving in heaps and heaps of illegal dump trucks on side streets along Rt 1.….YES

    All you have to do is drive up and down RT 1 and see the crap that has been allowed to happen here at the hands of the BOCS over the last 20 years and know that NOTHING is going to change.

    All we get is LIP service from the BOCS about cleaning up Rt 1 and they do NOTHING to help they only stand in the way of cleaning it up!!!! It would not be difficult, it would be a matter of applying the zoning laws to those businesses and force them to abide by it but then again….one has to wonder WHY that hasn’t happen!!!

    The BOCS makes it sound as if the only soultion is a major revitalization. It does need revitalization, however how long will we suffer with this place looking trashy until that revitalization happens? There is help available to us if the Board of County Supervisors would allow it to happen or at least encourage it!

  26. A PWC Resident said on 23 Sep 2008 at 1:59 pm:
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    Is anyone bothered, especially in view of the previous discussion on this at http://www.bvbl.net/index.php/2008/09/16/stalingrad-on-the-occoquan/#more-2644, that the discussion was about footage from the county security camera?

    I understand a governmental interest in security, but does it not raise privacy issues when the media requests security tapes? One may note that when Byler was turned down, it was because the tapes no longer existed and not one employee said that security tapes can only be released for a governmental or investigative process by an authorized governmental entity and not the “media”. Tends to make me worry a bit.

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