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Peter Farrell Resigns

By Greg L | 16 November 2009 | Manassas Park | 23 Comments

Manassas Park City Councilman Peter Farrell resigned his position on the Governing Board last Friday according to the News & Messenger, just before his trial on charges of election fraud was scheduled to begin today.  The comment from his press release stating that he was giving up simply because he was spending more time outside of Manassas Park reads more like a last slap at the City which has browbeaten yet another citizen out of the city who had tried to reform it.  Once again, the cabal of Frank Jones prevails. 

While on the Governing Board Farrell had questioned the extravagant employment contract offered to City Attorney Dean Crowhurst, made at a time when the City was (and remains) in dire financial straits.  As soon as these questions were raised, Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert announces that Farrell is being prosecuted for election fraud, alleging that he didn’t live in Manassas Park.  Farrell has consistently maintained his innocence, but faced a choice of either a protracted and expensive legal battle to maintain his position, or simply packing it in and washing his hands of this corruption-riddled municipality, in exchange for having the charges dropped.  I can’t blame him for his decision.  It’s quite a noble, but personally challenging battle to reform this city, especially when virtually no one was willing to stand up with Farrell and help him.

Manassas Park’s petty tyrants have a wonderful little formula they use to deal with anyone who stands in the way of their goals.  They bludgeon them with zoning enforcement actions (Artisan Auto Body), malicious police action (Rack & Roll Billiards), or trumped-up criminal prosecutions (Peter Farrell).  The city is more than willing to drain their coffers dry (thank you taxpayers!) harassing and pestering anyone they don’t like while their victims are forced to shovel away their own financial futures if they persist in their efforts to break up the thugocracy for which this municipality is so legendary.  In Manassas Park, patriotism and civic engagement carry enormous price tags that strongly discourage anyone from challenging the status quo, lest they become the next object of officially-sanctioned harassment.

I imagine the only one wanting to replace Farrell on the Governing Board will be Milquetoast, the Bobble-Head doll, because they only apparently safe thing to do when Frank Jones wants to ensure that Dean Crowhurst is being adequately paid off is to bobble your head up and down, otherwise they’ll want to tear it freakin’ off.  Just watch how tenacious Suhas Naddoni will be about reforming the Park after this escapade.  Meow.

Secrets don’t last forever, though.  Someday there’s going to be someone willing to spill the beans to the feds, and that’s going to be an absolutely incredible story.



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23 Comments

  1. ... said on 16 Nov 2009 at 4:07 pm:
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    Bill Treuting will most likely be appointed to fill the vacancy.

  2. James Young said on 16 Nov 2009 at 4:34 pm:
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    I really don’t understand this. If the charges were going to be dropped, why resign? If they had any merit, why not prosecute him regardless of his resignation? Was a deal cut?

    I know he’s a Democrat, so I have doubts about political motivations by Ebert. This smells in so many ways.

  3. park'd said on 16 Nov 2009 at 5:36 pm:
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    Everything smells in the park. Run ye away from here as fast as thy legs will carry ye. That is the advice that I give to anyone who even entertains the idea of buying here.

  4. Loudoun Insider said on 16 Nov 2009 at 7:04 pm:
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    I really feel sorry for anyone who lives in that town. What a corrupt bunch of jerks running it. I’ll never spend a cent there.

  5. Patty said on 16 Nov 2009 at 7:14 pm:
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    Do you think they will appoint Jeanette Rishell?

    Now that is a scary thought.

  6. JM said on 16 Nov 2009 at 8:37 pm:
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    Patty, don’t scare me like that! I think Treuting is a good bet. He ran as part of the independent block last election, so it was always their aim to have him as part of the team.

    I don’t know what to make of the Farrell resignation. Greg has some excellent points about the way the Park does business. They are vindictive and heavy handed, and I wouldn’t put it past them to use the threat of arrest or litigation to force someone out of the way. It’s been known to happen.

    However, Farrell did admit that he doesn’t live in the Park. The question is, did he live here at the time of election? Farrell’s admission does lend credence to the fraud allegation, and it’s possible that Ebert protected a fellow democrat by making a deal which let Farrell avoid prosecution if he resigned.

  7. Anonymous said on 16 Nov 2009 at 10:00 pm:
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    Dean Crowhurst is paid $380,000 a year - more than every other city official in PWC, Manassas and Manassas Park. But he’s a city attorney for the smallest jurisdiction in the area. Why are they paying him so much? Is it to keep his mouth shut, or to pay him enough to cover for the crap that the city tries to pull, sort of like a hazardous duty bonus?

    And the one person to question that salary ends up in Paul Ebert’s cross-hairs. Yeah, coincidence. Right.

    Meanwhile the city is going bankrupt. The police force has been cut by 40%, they gutted the public works department, and they’re still forking over all this money to Crowhurst.

    All this happens wile the mainstream media and the FBI sleeps. What a forkin country.

  8. Greg L said on 16 Nov 2009 at 10:04 pm:
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    Here’s Farrell’s press release:

    Manassas Park, VA (November 16, 2009) – The Prince William County Circuit Court this morning dismissed Election Fraud charges filed in July against Manassas Park Councilman Peter Farrell (D). Farrell said he believes the charges were dismissed because they were without merit and untrue and reconfirmed that he had in fact been a Manassas Park resident since September 2005 when he was elected in 2008.

    He believes the charges were initiated against him after he requested a study be performed regarding the amount of taxpayer’s money being spent for the City’s legal services to Manassas Park City Attorney Dean Crowhurst’s law firm.

    Farrell recently resigned from his position on the council due to now spending more time at his residence outside the city. He plans to use the extra time to focus on his business, but expects to continue to participate actively in local affairs as a longstanding Manassas Park businessman.

    Farrell stated, “I enjoyed the experience gained while serving the citizens of Manassas Park and I tried hard to balance the needs of the city in these trying economic times. I enjoyed working with Mayor Frank Jones, the city staff and the other members of the Governing Body.”

  9. park'd said on 17 Nov 2009 at 6:57 am:
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    Can’t blame the guy really. Who wants to live in the park anymore? It’s a haven for section 8 renters and illegal aliens these days. Highest taxes in the state and some of the worst dilapidation and trash around. I’m afraid to walk down the street of my own development with all the thugs hanging out. The city management seems to be ok with what they have allowed to fester so I will let them have it. I’ll be out of here soon enough with the help of my lawyer and realtor. I advise anyone reading this blog who may be interested in buying in Manassas Park to think again. I know it’s the cheapest place around now and houses are going for pennies on the dollar but there is a reason for that. Don’t end up like me. Stay away from here!

  10. James Young said on 17 Nov 2009 at 10:08 am:
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    Can’t say I’m surprised by the amount paid to the City Attorney. From what I hear on this site, he must be paid on an hourly basis!

  11. Chauncey Gardiner said on 17 Nov 2009 at 10:40 am:
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    Park’d, it’s “thine legs,” not “thy legs.”

    But your sentiments are correct.

  12. ... said on 17 Nov 2009 at 12:38 pm:
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    Generally, the more time you’ll do for doing it when you get caught, the more you charge.

  13. Loudoun Insider said on 17 Nov 2009 at 6:10 pm:
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    How can they pay him that???!!!

  14. Muttley said on 17 Nov 2009 at 8:43 pm:
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    My property value decreased by $150K, but my taxes only decreased by $35.00 (yes thirty-five dollars). What the heck is going on down there at this crystal palace? It doesn’t make any sense. I like MP, but there are things that they are not properly taking care of (like its tax payers). I love my home, but just hate where it is. Traffic sucks A$$ and taxes are through the roof. Business owners are treated like crap. None of this the city seems to be remotely interested in fixing.

  15. park'd said on 18 Nov 2009 at 5:18 pm:
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    The traffic problems are because 10 people live in each house. You saw how awesome traffic was last year when all the illegals left town? I could leave at 7am and be at work in 45 minutes with very little traffic most of last year and it stayed that way until around April this year when the town flooded back with illegals and section 8 renters due to all the cheap houses for sale that speculators bought and started renting out. Rooms are rented out en masse to anyone with money now. I see it in my hood every day. At least 10 people live in the townhome next to me and you can see all manner of folks coming and going into all the other homes at all hours of the day or hanging out on the front steps. If only 5 of those 10 people drive then that is a tremendous amount of cars in a town with 1 major outlet and a few single lane feeder routes north. This local govt. was never interested in tackling this issue though. They are content to let it be a renter’s paradise at the expense of us remaining idiots who didn’t bail on this $h1thole town when we had the chance. I’m done with this place as of January 1st. Lawyer hired, I am dumping my place and losing everything I have invested in it in the past 7 years in the process thanks to these guys. I’ve had enough. They can have this town.

    As far as your taxes go muttley I’m not sure how you came to those numbers. Simple math says that if your home value dropped $150K that your taxes dropped much more than $35. My home value dropped $146K from last year and my taxes are way down. $1300 a year down from last year. You might want to recheck your math. I assume you are talking about residential real estate? Although I thought commercial and residential were at the same rate anyway?

  16. Andy B said on 18 Nov 2009 at 7:04 pm:
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    The real loser here is the citizens of Manassas Park. I know that Mr. Farrell did indeed live in Manassas Park while running and being elected for council and it is a shame that his questioning of what are “outlandish fees in comparison to other” got him forced out of office. This man had no agenda and was working for the taxpayers of MP. You have lost a good man and a true fighter of the people when blackballing Mr. Farrell.

  17. no comment said on 18 Nov 2009 at 8:44 pm:
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    I know for a fact that Mr. Farrell lived in Manassas Park when elected. He lived in my neighborhood at that time and it is true that we have lost a man that could have help get this city back on its feet. Sad sad times….

  18. LegalLatinLover said on 19 Nov 2009 at 12:26 am:
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    Maybe now we can get a qualified Latino on the City Council. There are plenty of great options around MP. Let’s see if the powers that be do the right thing!

  19. Greg L said on 19 Nov 2009 at 12:40 am:
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    How about just a qualified, non-corrupt citizen representative. Not like that’s very likely…

  20. ... said on 19 Nov 2009 at 12:24 pm:
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    “Simple math says that if your home value dropped $150K that your taxes dropped much more than $35. My home value dropped $146K from last year and my taxes are way down. $1300 a year down from last year.”

    Take into account that the rate went up to compensate for the lower property values. Most people did not see any significant decrease–only a small one of between $0 and $300 a year, or so.

  21. park'd said on 19 Nov 2009 at 4:48 pm:
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    Yes I’m aware. The rate went from 1.27 to 1.65. The rate would have had to more than double to maintain flat revenues with the 56% drop in property values though. His tax bill should have dropped precipitously. Even the east side which is the ‘good’ side of town was down on average over 40% across the board. Multiply 292k (my 2008 value) x 1.27% (.0127) and you get roughly $3700 a year in taxes. Multiply 145k (my 2009 value) x 1.65% (.0165) and you get roughly $2400. My tax bill dropped $1300 a year. If his house dropped 150k in value then his tax bill went down at least $100 a month just like mine did. The math don’t lie.

  22. park'd said on 19 Nov 2009 at 4:57 pm:
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    The park may be a craphole devoid of any hope for those who are unfortunate enough to own a home here but the one positive thing I can say about them this year is that they did an almost perfect valuation on real estate for the new assessments. What they valued my house at is exactly what they have been selling for here for the past year. I thought I would have to fight them on it and that they would try to skew reality and inflate values but they didn’t. I will give them that. I also figured they would be forced to raise the rate to 2+% in order to survive and they didn’t do that either. Yet. I guess extending the old assessments for another tax cycle bought them another 6 months before they are either forced to take extreme action or raise the rate to ridonkulous 2+% levels. It’s at ridiculous levels now as it is and by far the highest in the state. With any luck I will be long gone from here by then though.

  23. ... said on 19 Nov 2009 at 11:53 pm:
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    Don’t forget the charge for trash pickup. That eats into the savings just a bit.

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