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PWC CXO Pick: Is It Peacor?

By Greg L | 21 January 2010 | Prince William County | 28 Comments

Strange goings on at the Board of County Supervisors lately as they cancel a press conference to announce their pick for County Executive, and then go into closed session to discuss the matter.  Following that session, no announcement is made.  My guess is that the worst possible potential candidate, Melissa Peacor, is slated for the position but elected officials are getting some pointed constituent input about the matter and are second-guessing the choice.  If this is the case, they should.

Peacor was a notorious crony of the Craig Gerhardt crew that was responsible for a host of problems including a stunning lack of oversight that allowed the Office of Information Technology to start bid-rigging and stealing millions of taxpayer dollars that were then sent overseas.  I’ve even heard tapes of Melissa Peacor haranguing employees who were victims of workplace sexual harassment in an effort to cover up the abominable behavior of other senior county employees by attacking the victim.  Peacor shouldn’t be promoted, but fired.

Which brings me to perhaps the most interesting question of all.  If the corrupt cronies in county government are able to engineer their re-establishment of power in county government, what dirt did they have on members of the Board of Supervisors that could have been used to blackmail them into even considering such an outrageous pick?

The coming days should be very interesting, indeed.

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  1. Kevin C said on 22 Jan 2010 at 8:43 am:
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    WHY would the BOCS have wasted so much time (and MONEY, as in TAX PAYER DOLLARS) on nothing but a HORSE and PONY SHOW, just to name the WORST possible candidate for County Exec?

    It just doesn’t make ANY SENSE?

    It MUST be (just) a rumor!

  2. Anonymous said on 22 Jan 2010 at 9:52 am:
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    I agree with Kevin C. This sounds like pure speculation… and not particularly good speculation.

  3. anon said on 22 Jan 2010 at 10:15 am:
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    The good side is that Peacor can be a ruthless cost cutter. That is a skill which is particularly valuable in tough budget times. She was the one under Gerhart who had to do the tough things–like terminations and eliminations of programs. Obviously, that creates enemies. I don’t think she was as close to Gerhart as one might think.

  4. Riley said on 22 Jan 2010 at 10:36 am:
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    From what I have heard, the event was cancelled because not all the supervisors could be present. The announcement will be made during the next BOCS meeting being held on Feb. 2. From what I can gather, Corey is happy with the person who was selected, so I’m assuming it is someone from the outside.

  5. benton said on 22 Jan 2010 at 12:01 pm:
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    I agree with your assessment anon. She was the ‘heavy lifter’ and the hachet person.

    If the BOCS is looking for someone to carry out their wishes and have strong day to day management and, as the ad requested, “not be too friendly with the staff”, she is the best candidate. There was a presentation not too long ago that showed that over $100M was cut from the budget in the past few years. Gerhardt wasn’t around that much to have accomplished that. Peacor is a separate person….. remember, we ALL have a boss! Doesn’t mean we like them or agree.

    I would like to hear that tape mentioned in the story above…… Really would

  6. Advocator said on 22 Jan 2010 at 12:52 pm:
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    There could be worse candidates.

  7. Kevin C said on 22 Jan 2010 at 2:47 pm:
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    Don’t forget, Melissa Peacor was the one RESPONSIBLE for the FIRING of a county employee for DOING HIS JOB by the book!

    Wally Jabbs worked in the permit department at the McCoart Bldg when Peacor’s church applied for a permit.

    Something wasn’t “right” about the application and Jabbs didn’t grant the permit.

    Not long after, again for doing his job BY THE BOOK, Jabbs was FIRED!

    THAT’S the way Melissa Peacor works!!!!!!!

    The WORST possible candidate!!!!!

  8. Kevin C said on 22 Jan 2010 at 2:56 pm:
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    I SHOULD have added that Jabbs learned to do “things” by the book in the Marine Corps.

    He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps with the rank of Major!

    Melissa Peacor gave him his “THANK YOU” for his service by having him FIRED, as I said, for DOING HIS JOB!!!

    One “County Motto” I heard (while there) was, “Conform or be CAST OUT!”

  9. Anonymous said on 22 Jan 2010 at 3:22 pm:
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    That county motto sounds about right to me. For Supervisors who are happy with their image as the bumpkins of Northern Virginia, Peacor is the perfect choice.

  10. anony said on 22 Jan 2010 at 5:20 pm:
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    Unforunately it is Peacor. All the county staff already knows and is talking about it although the official announcement hasn’t been made. Don’t they have to take a public vote before announcing?

    ““not be too friendly with the staff”, she is the best candidate.”

    It seems that me that a person hired from the outside would have had an easier time of cutting budgets and staff if neccessary. She may be a hatchet but certainly someone coming in from outside finds it easier than someone who has always been there to make tough decisions. Even a supposed “hatchet” has to have some connections within the county that they will have difficulty separating from when it comes to budget decisions.

    I think the best idea would have been to go outside and bring someone with no connections and no history to the county. It would have been a new beginning and that person would have had a strong allegiance to the board perhaps even more than Peacor.

  11. Lake Jackson Resident said on 22 Jan 2010 at 7:35 pm:
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    Staff, the front line folks, not the directors and their minons, feel that she is rude and dismissive of them and their concerns, this has nothing to do with her ability to cut staff, anyone can do that. She is unprofessional and not the kind of person to represent this County at the top level, anyone who has watched her style or lack thereof at a board meeting or has watched her in a meeting knows this like the nose on their face, if she is the best pick I have to question to judgement of this board.

  12. anon said on 22 Jan 2010 at 8:25 pm:
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    Dear god, I hope it’s not Peacor. She is an absolute HORROR!

    PWC gov’t is beset with a bad-attitude syndrome - and it’s people like Peacor who encourage that atmosphere.

    I have seen her question, quiz, and belittle a citizen who wanted to receive some publicly available info. She made this person jump through hoops and answer questions about her intentions for the information. Meanwhile, little known to the citizen, a few clicks on the county website would have given her exactly the info she wanted. So why all the secrecy and maltreatment?? That’s just the way Peacor rolls.

    Dear citizens, we are all about to be royally screwed. (Moreso than on an ordinary day!)

  13. Conservative 2 said on 22 Jan 2010 at 9:33 pm:
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    In 2 weeks the announcement will be made.Apparently they had their reasons????

    I heard that the temporary executive, did not want it. To bad ,she would have been good.
    For Peacor she is bossy and rude. She can be very sweet, when trying to win one over,so not sure how much she can be trusted.

    She handed Jabbs a real shocker. He went to alot of BOS meetings trying to get justice,but it didn’t happen.

    This is what they do to emplyees and there is no reason for it.

    This County needs to Grow up,instead of acting like a kid.

  14. Kevin C said on 22 Jan 2010 at 11:39 pm:
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    IF Peacor is the “pick” there is something VERY SERIOUSLY WRONG with this Board of Supervisors!!!!

    Isn’t it about time we DEMAND accountability?

    I asked earlier, WHY the HORSE and PONY show, at tax payer expense, just to come up with this FREAKIN’ DUD?????

    WE should DEMAND an INVESTIGATION!!!!!

  15. Anonymous said on 22 Jan 2010 at 11:51 pm:
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    I read comments on another blog saying the writer would donate $$ to the opponent of any Supervisor who voted for Peacor. I will do this also. I am appalled.

  16. David Rosier said on 23 Jan 2010 at 9:25 am:
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    What a message to send to the public. In the year our DSS let a kid die, our IT department committed fraud and we are going to reward the people in charge by promoting them. We need new blood with new ideas. Staff moral is going to reach an all time low. No one likes or respects the woman

  17. PWCOvertaxed said on 23 Jan 2010 at 11:07 am:
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    If its Peacor then this County truly will be the laughing stock of the region…she is nuts. Ask her about our DRIVE initiative…the newly created (her pet project) employee evaluation system that they spent over $1 million on and when they tried to use it….bam, it didnt work so they scratched the whole thing (that took two years, thousands of staff hours and dollars to develop). That should be what she is known for…a failure

  18. Just the Facts said on 23 Jan 2010 at 1:24 pm:
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    I’m going to repeat and expand on some of my comments on this issue from the earlier thread. Peacor has been part and parcel of the scandals plaguing Prince William County. She was the architect of the cover-ups of the harassment, discrimination and abuse incidents against female employees – someone had to clean up Ray Utz’ messes and Gerhart didn’t want to get his hands dirty.

    Giving Peacor the County Executive job would be criminal. We have an opportunity to get some new blood in the County government and break up the incestuous good old boy/girl networks. I’m reserving judgment until I find out if this is actually true but if it is Corey has betrayed all of us – just a warning, not an accusation yet.

    I hope Corey is reading these comments. I like him and still consider myself one of his supporters. Corey has even received letters from one of our Republican elected officials in Richmond, who supports him also, asking him to intervene on behalf of one of the female victims in Public Works. Peacor helped cover up this incident also and protect the perps. This problem is a cancer and not limited just to the Planning Office. So far, Corey’s response has been less than aggressive. Several of us are trying to prevent Corey from making one of the worst blunders he could possibly make.

    Hopefully, these rumors about Peacor becoming County Exec are false and Corey never considered such a move. He is fully aware of her role in the sexual scandals in the County Government. He knows of the solid documentation of Utz’ behavior and Peacor’s role, along with Griffin, in protecting him.

    Corey needs to seek to have Peacor and the other perps fired rather than promoted. ANY Supervisor who would seek to have one of the key players in these scandals promoted to the highest level of responsibility in the County Government would no longer be worthy of public trust.

    There is “dirt” on members of the BOCS in the sense that they are aware of the problems and scandals involving Peacor, not in the sense that they have done anything wrong themselves (to my knowledge). If they give Peacor the County Exec job, they need to be prepared for all of this evidence from many people being presented at Citizens Time and elsewhere, including playing excerpts of the tapes with Peacor attacking Ray Utz’ and Public Works’ victims and their witnesses. Greg mentioned those tapes and they exist, along with a great deal of other evidence. I have heard them as has Greg. Corey is fully aware of the tapes and all of the other evidence. He and any other Supervisors will have to account for their actions if they vote to give her the job, given all that he (they) know.

    To repeat, my hope is that all of these rumors are false, and that Corey and the other members of the BOCS never considered a move as idiotic as making Peacor the County Executive. I hope sincerely that when the new County Exec is announced we are all commending the BOCS for their wise judgment in selecting a highly competent and experienced outsider who has demonstrated a record of solid ethics and serving the interests of his/her community, and who can start cleaning up the mess that Gerhart, Peacor, Griffin, Utz, Wilson and others have created in PWC over the years.

  19. Kevin C said on 23 Jan 2010 at 3:45 pm:
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    Just the Facts said on 23 Jan 2010 at 1:24 pm: “There is “dirt” on members of the BOCS in the sense that they are aware of the problems and scandals involving Peacor…”

    Kinda makes you WONDER (If, hopefully a big, BIG if, it’s true) what she’s GOT on them, doesn’t it?

    *** *** *** ***

    Just the Facts said on 23 Jan 2010 at 1:24 pm: “I hope sincerely that when the new County Exec is announced we are all commending the BOCS for their wise judgment…”

    Isn’t it Dr. Phil who says, “The BEST indicator of FUTURE performance is PAST performance?”

    Whatever the case, I believe I have made it crystal clear that I have VERY LITTLE faith in politicians when it comes to doing the RIGHT thing.

    Given a choice between THEIR interests and the interests of the people, they ALWAYS go with THEIR interests!!!!

    Remember people, it’s ALL ABOUT FUNDING!!!

    I have ALWAYS said, “Politicians don’t SOLVE problems, politicians FUND problems!!!!!”

  20. benton said on 23 Jan 2010 at 5:22 pm:
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    Just the facts - some should be produced for us to hear. I understand there is a tape???

    “He is fully aware of her role in the sexual scandals in the County Government”…. let’s start with this. Just lookin’ for a fact or two…

  21. Just the Facts said on 23 Jan 2010 at 5:41 pm:
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    benton - I discussed this with Greg today. We’ll see what we can come up with this week. The tapes are of County Executive level employee grievance hearings at which Peacor presided. Gerhart was too much of a (I’ll avoid offensive language here) and sent Peacor to do his dirty work.

    One is the lady from Public Works who had cancer and was ridiculed in her office for wearing a wig because of chemo treatment. She received a letter recently from the Virginia Employment Commission exonerating her of any pattern of misconduct as the County alleged.

    The other is one of the Utz’ victims from the Planning Office. In her case, women were lining up asking to be witnesses and her attorney had to select three to fit the time allowed for the hearing.

    In both cases, Peacor defends the perpetrators and attacks the victims and their witnesses. She had no interest in fair hearings whatsoever. Her only goal was to cover up the incidents and protect senior County employees.

    The tapes last over four hours each. Greg has heard them and Corey knows about them.

  22. Greg L said on 23 Jan 2010 at 5:45 pm:
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    I have part of the tapes, and JTF has another set. I’ll be meeting with JTF to hear the rest and figure out what to do with them. Depending on my availability, I hope to be able to bring people the contents sometime next week.

    The difficulty here is that spending a lot of time capturing analog audio to digital, performing any post-processing needed to help intelligibility, and getting it edited and posted takes time away from my ability to provide for my family. This kind of stuff doesn’t pay the bills, so it tends to get pushed to the back-burner if there’s something more productive that can be done.

  23. Kevin C said on 23 Jan 2010 at 5:47 pm:
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    benton said on 23 Jan 2010 at 5:22 pm: “Just lookin’ for a fact or two…”

    All I know is what I’ve seen WITH MY OWN EYES!!!!

    *** *** *** ***

    Just the Facts said on 23 Jan 2010 at 1:24 pm: “She was the architect of the cover-ups of the harassment, discrimination…”

    Again, from what I’ve seen WITH MY OWN EYES, discrimination is not only ALIVE and WELL in (the) Prince William County Government, it THRIVES and FLOURISHES because of Melissa Peacor and people LIKE her!!!!!

    THAT is a FACT I am willing to TESTIFY to in ANY court of law!!!!!

    Again, what I’ve SEEN with my OWN EYES!!!!!

    *** *** *** ***

    On a side note, HOW did you like your tax dollars being spent, by a depratment DIRECTOR, on weekend in New York with one of HIS little BOY FRIENDS?

    Can you imagine being RUN OFF your job because you’re HETEROsexual?


    While a STATE SENATOR and a COUNTY SUPERVISOR nearly broke their necks looking the OTHER WAY!!!!!

    Not to mention, including at that time, the CHAIRMAN of the Board of County Supervisors!!!!!

  24. benton said on 23 Jan 2010 at 5:53 pm:
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    Understood completely about the back burner/resources and family. I guess I don’t understand why Mr. Stewart would not be addressing this properly. I will wait for the tapes. This stuff doesn’t go away so this week or next it will still be viable. But, I will be waiting for the tape or some facts.

    Thanks for the explanation.

    Understand as well about “your own two eyes”. But they aren’t mine. :) Quite a claim to accept without some proof. Again, as stated above, don’t understand the lack of action by BOS.

  25. Kevin C said on 23 Jan 2010 at 6:02 pm:
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    Greg L said (in reference to audio tapes): “The difficulty here is that spending a lot of time capturing analog audio to digital, performing any post-processing needed to help intelligibility…”

    Greg is EXACTLY right!

    I have HOURS and HOURS of audio tape.

    It is VERY DIFFICULT to go through them (all) and pull out the most significant facts!

    benton, you got a COUPLE of DAYS???

    Here’s an eye opener for you, do you know WHY you CAN’T fight “City Hall?”

    Because City Hall LIES!!!!!

    FACT: Peacor LIES!!!

  26. no name, no department please said on 24 Jan 2010 at 1:17 pm:
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    As a county employee I can’t tell you how much I hope all this discussuon makes someone look into all this nonsense, maybe the new county executive is reading this whoever he or she is and will do something about this very sick organization

  27. Anonymous said on 24 Jan 2010 at 4:39 pm:
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    It is a fact. Mrs. Peacor has been selected as the next County Executive. When Mr. Gerhart left in disgrace, County employees felt a burden lift off their shoulders. With the Mr. Stewart’s and the Board’s promise of change, hope returned to the organization. Now as the news travels through the organization their is disbelief and shock. In the entire USA, is this really the best this County could do?

    Mrs. Peacor over the last 20 years has ridden Mr. Gerhart’s coattails. Everytime Mr. Gerhart ascended in the organization, Mrs. Peacor was pre-selected to fill his previous position. Over the last 15 years, Mrs. Peacor has established her reputation as Mr. Gerhart’s henchman, and with Mr. Gerhart’s protection, no department director dare confront her. When Mr. Gerhart left it was stunning how quickly the department directors started to take a stand to “do the right thing.”

    At best, Mrs. Peacor is an unstable corrupt dictator that takes every question and idea that is not her own as a personal insult. And she never forgets.

    How could the Board make such a choice? How can the citizens accept such a choice?

    It will not take long for citizens and the Board to experience Mrs. Peacor’s arrogance and incompetence first hand without Mr. Gerhart’s protection.

  28. Kevin C said on 25 Jan 2010 at 9:19 am:
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    Anonymous said on 24 Jan 2010 at 4:39 pm: “It will not take long for…the Board to experience Mrs. Peacor’s arrogance…”

    I think there is only ONE possible explanation for this SLAP in the FACE the “Board” is giving PWC and it has to do with “Peacor’s arrogance!”

    There is NO DOUBT in my mind that she knows where ALL the bodies are buried and is using that “information” to FORCE the Board to hire her!

    When you look at all “WE” know about the dirty, underhanded dealings going on in PWC, can you imaging what SHE knows?

    As far as I’m concerned, there can be NO other explanation.

    She certainly is NOT qualified (and I’m not talking about her resume) to fill the position!

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