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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