Littner Spins A New Tale, and Flannery’s Bills Continue To Pile Up

By Loudoun Insider

Good grief.  Caitlin Gibson of the WaPo gives us an update on the ridiculous Board of Equalization lawsuit mess.  J. Scott Littner, the obnoxious Chairman of the BOE, gave a different version than everyone else’s recollection of his encounter with Beverly Bradford over her audacity to take a photo in an open public meeting.  And the trial was extended once again, giving $400 an hour attorney John Flannery who knows how many more hours to continue to pad his taxpyer bill of at least $54,000 before yesterday’s hearing.  What a complete waste of everyone’s time and more importantly our tax dollars.


Comments

  • Broken says:

    We will do everything to hide the facts about the NCC site purchase by the county

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Interesting new nugget re no advance notice of photos–bodies do have the right to set rules regarding any kind of recording etc, and most that do have as SOP at the beginning of a meeting to say “anyone may record/photograph/etc and here are the rules for doing so. Does anyone intend to record/photograph/etc today?”, at which point they are shown the area to set up a tripod, place a mike, and so on.

    If the woman did not disclose that she was going to be taking photos (are flash photos prohibited under the BOE rules? Did she arrive after the part of the meeting where she would have had the opportunity to say she would be, and been informed that that was fine, but no flash please?) then I can see someone finding the flash a distraction.

    None of which still explains the outrageous bill!

  • Hillsboro says:

    Obfuscate much Barb? How about a refresher?

    http://foiacouncil.dls.virginia.gov/2011Law.pdf

    § 2.2-3707

    H. Any person may photograph, film, record or otherwise reproduce any portion of a meeting required to be open. The public body conducting the meeting may adopt rules governing the placement and use of equipment necessary for broadcasting, photographing, filming or recording a meeting to prevent interference with the proceedings, but shall not prohibit or otherwise prevent any person from photographing, filming, recording, or otherwise reproducing any portion of a meeting required to be open. No public body shall conduct a meeting required to be open in any building or facility where such recording devices are prohibited.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    “The public body conducting the meeting may adopt rules governing the placement and use of equipment”

    No obfuscation, hillsboro, read your own link/quote.

    Now read the linked article:

    “As the board was in the midst of open testimony about the matter, Bradford left her seat and took a photo, Littner testified. ”
    ….
    ““There was a flash to my left, and when I looked, I saw Ms. Bradford returning to her seat,” Littner said.”

    “He said he asked Bradford if she was familiar with the BOE’s rule requiring advance notice before taking photographs at a meeting.

    “I explained to her that I didn’t appreciate the disruption,” he said.”

    As I said, maybe flash photos are prohibited? (see that “governing use of equipment” part in your info again) Maybe she arrived after they went through the “does anyone plan to record….” part, and thus didn’t get the opportunity to disclose?

    Having been in meetings with extremely distracting citizens exercising their rights to the limits (McGimsey spent portions of her secretly paid “citizen activist” career prowling between the staff tables and the dais in the main boardroom snapping flash photos during BoS business meetings, and I can recall one candidate who attended a PC worksession with a video that sat in his lap for most of the meeting, until the one item he was interested in arrived, at which point he rose from his seat and literally leaned across the table in the conference room to get the footage he wanted), all I can glean so far from this “he said/she said” is that the bill is outrageous.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Barb will defend any developer-centric body like the BOE to the death. The bill is ridiculous, as was Littner’s ridiculous overreaction.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    As I said, LI. He said, she said. None of us were there, including you or I.

    Not enough info for me, but as I also said on the other thread, it interests me that there is the implication re NCC.

    It also interests me that someone stopped in to give another side to the embattled reporter/citizen, which I thought of when I read the quote in this article about wagging her finger and telling him not to worry about what she was doing.

    Give it whatever slant you need to for your own purposes (since chanting “developer” worked so well in the election two scant months ago, maybe if people say it nonstop for four years it will work NEXT time! lol), but based on the chatter so far only the bill is clearly egregious.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    From the Post reporter who has been there for the trial:

    “Littner’s description of his interaction with Bradford, a freelance reporter for AOL Patch who took a picture of him at the June 28 meeting, contrasted with accounts offered by Bradford and other witnesses in prior testimony.”

    Littner’s account is different from several other peoples’ accounts. So who do you believe, Barb?

    I guess you will say it must be another hit job from those awful people at the Washington Post who made your pals from the Tulloch Board look bad.

  • Broken says:

    Yes, and both the BOE and Flannery have threatened criminal charges against the reporter.

  • NoMoreSecrets says:

    Ms. HOA was at this meeting “stirring the pot” about NCC…as she continues to do with her neighbors. She was likely NOT on “assignment” as she claimed — she is a freelancer, and her opposition to a school on that site is very well known. She is a pure NIMBY when it comes to that site, and is leading a charge against it — insinuating all sorts of “opaque” actions by the Board — when this purchase has, in fact, been the most transparent in recent history. Just see the first post to this blog….. Also notice the awkward mention of the site in the WaPo article about the BoE issue?????

    Ironic that her friends on the HOA Board always ask for disclosure of recording equipment, etc before any HOA meetings.

    Knowing the history if the individuals involved — let’s wait to hear ALL the facts before jumping on any bandwagon. At first blush it seems as though Ms. Bradford was wronged — but her set of facts may not be in touch with reality – as we in Ashburn have learned over many years.

    Let’s see how this plays out…shall we? What if the BoE is found to have no fault???? Anyone know where we can get a copy of the case filings? That might tell us more.

  • Curious Bystander says:

    Nice to see the Post follow up. Littner’s version contradicts what a number of witnesses said who were in the room. I wouldn’t be surprised if even his fellow BOE members don’t agree with his story.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    NMS, I am formally putting you on notice about unsubstantiated allegations about the complainant in this case. Any further extraneous BS will be deleted. I could care less about her reputation or past “transgressions” according to you. She had every right to take a photo at this hearing and she was removed before they cast a vote on this increasingly skeevy looking land deal that she had gone to witness. And for all this drama we the taxpayers will probably end up wasting more than $100,000 by the time this is all over.

    CB, at least someone in the press is watching this. Don’t know why the locals aren’t there.

  • Broken says:

    $100,000 will look like nothing when you compare it to the millions the county is throwing away on the rock saturated lot bording the potomac which they are purchasing for an Ashburn school. Once Scott York realized that the BOS was under investigation too for this purchase, he began to back track. Now the BOS is trying to delay the situation and minimize the damage despite this being a part of their Loudoun Tarp Program to rescue failing commercial properties within the county.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    LI, who are the other witnesses? Any BOE members?

    Funny you’re taking this tack, given your many charges against the PR firm you said was representing Lex7.

    You are now anti NCC for HS8?

    Okay, I’ll just go get some popcorn.

    As the blog turns.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    You are once again diverting from the real issue at hand, Barb, which is open and honest government. The Lexington Seven crowd has run a despicable campaign based purely in their own desire to sell their property to the county. The more I see of the NCC land deal the more I think the county is significantly overpaying. None of that matters to me in this FOIA battle. The complainant had every right to take the photo of that idiot Littner.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    I don’t dispute her right to do so.

    The circumstances are muddy from there on out, at least by what accounts are available.

    Any answers yet on whether flash abides by the rules they are allowed to set, and whether she arrived in time to hear that (if so) and say “yes, I’ll be taking pictures”?

  • Robin Crabtree says:

    I was at the first day of the hearing and listened to about 8 hours of testimony. Two county assessors testified that Mr. Litner’s actions were out of line. As they were sequestered and said the exact same thing, I tend to believe their version. Another witness who is not a county employee testified and said the same thing as the two assessors, one of whom was testifying during the photo and testified that he paused for a second and then continued his testimony. He said no one in the room even moved until Mr. Litner abruptly got up and strode across the room to stand above Ms. Bradford who was seated and berated her, leaning in over her in a menacing way. Obviously, this is my recollection and opinion. I suggest someone FOIA the testimony after the case is resolved.
    I also will say NMS has some other agenda and does not have many facts straight about the case, Ms, Bradford or the HOA.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    I guess Robin is in on the big conspiracy with the WaPo to make Littner look bad.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    LI, the only person who’s been hawking a conspiracy since the get-go is you, on the part of the BOE.

    Ms. Crabtree (who signs her name!) gives a reasonable non-histrionic account with some actual information in it (two assessors witnessed–county assessors, or private industry? Just curious). Thank you!

    I’ve spent my time at the courthouse on a witness list too, and who is called to testify for which side is always interesting.

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled rant! lol

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Robin was there, i was not.

    This case stinks and it’s wasting thousands and thousands of dollars. I’ll rant about it as much as I want to.

  • loudounite says:

    No one here is disputing the outrageous cost of the bill…no one here is disputing citizens rights to free and open government, let’s be clear! If it happened the way Ms. Bradford states – - no one disputes those actions were wrong. I have learned that not everything is as it seems.

    “Unsubstantiated” remark censorship should perhaps apply to all sides of the argument. Let’s just wait and see what happens. There is truth being spoken here from both sides, and both sides have an agenda…

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    The BOS again orders settlement of this case:

    http://www.leesburg2day.com/news/article_390dbbd2-4d05-11e1-b6ce-0019bb2963f4.html

    I’m sure the BOE will appeal to the Circuit Court again.

    This needs to stop.

  • Curious Bystander says:

    Short notice – but the BOE has an administrative meeting scheduled for tomorrow (2/7/12) at 6 pm in the Government Center – 4th floor conference room. It is on the loudoun.gov calendar.

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