due process?

Brent Finnegan -- February 22nd, 2008

A reader pointed out to me that the top story on page one of today’s DNR covers an event that has not yet happened.

47 Responses to “due process?”

  1. Emo Boy says:

    How about this one also. That’s a great observation there reader.
    Or is this reader just trying to make the DNR look as if they are jumping the gun on the treasurer case?

    Area Braces For Possible Winter Smorgasbord Posted 2008-02-22
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  2. Barnabas says:

    The only real reason I can see for the story being out was that someone wanted people to know that Mr. Briggman would be out collecting signitures. Someone should get a petition in support of Neal and stand next to Briggman.

  3. Dave Briggman says:

    Certainly the Courthouse is a public place, come on out and join me.

  4. John says:

    Mr. Briggman is collecting sigs as it is the only way (as I understand it) to at least temporarily remove her from Office. What good would a PRO-Neal petition do? It serves no actual purpose.

    I don’t know any of the players involved personally, but I’d bet Mr. Briggman has better things to do with his time. It really doesn’t sound like much fun. I applaud him for at least caring enough to spend his own personal time exercising his right, which may amount to nothing in the end if no one wants to sign.

    I’d add that based upon what I’ve read, I don’t think I want her serving again until this while thing is sorted out. I’m not passing judgement, or trying not to, but I believe that generally prosecutors don’t go on ‘witch hunts’ in an attempt to sully the names of those who have done nothing wrong. God help us all if that is the case.

  5. Barnabas says:

    What reason would it serve? I was just sorta hoping it would get on Daves nerves.

  6. David Miller says:

    Briggman and Myron are enjoying this. Their smiles and frolicking while leaving the courthouse the other day proved that to me.

    John, you are correct; prosecutors don’t normally go on witch hunts. The mob that Briggman is trying to create DO.

  7. Lowell Fulk says:

    David, that was very eloquently stated. Thank you.

    I’ve been using the old “Jus throw a rope across a tree limb, we don’t have time for no dang trial” mental imagery in discussions but you’ve summed it up very well.

  8. Lowell Fulk says:

    I’d also like to put forward that most people I’ve spoken with are not represented by the comments on some blogs and following the articles in DNRonline.
    Most believe we should let justice work…

  9. David Miller says:


    I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in my sanity, thank you.

  10. Emmy says:

    You’re right Lowell, most sane people I’ve talked to would prefer to let the process work.

  11. Deb SF says:

    ditto to Emmy, David and Lowell above. Well said.

  12. Dave Briggman says:

    Miller, you have no clue as to whether I’m enjoying this or not. Frankly, I have much better things to do with my time, but it is MY time to do with what I will.

    Lowell, the only reason I even know about this statute and it’s use is because I had actually prepared to use it against you and the balance of the school board — when you were on it.

    This petition has ZERO to do with guilt or innocence, but rather, whether the Treasurer of the City of Harrisonburg exceeded the authority granted to her under Virginia law.

  13. Lowell Fulk says:

    David (B),

    Answer me this, what is your rush?

  14. Dave Briggman says:

    Lowell, this is a CIVIL proceeding.

    It’s a right afforded to voters under Virginia law.

    You are in favor of voters exercising their rights under the law, aren’t you Lowell?

  15. Lowell Fulk says:

    What is your rush?

  16. MAW says:

    I consider myself to be just as sane as one can possibly be in this world and I want a person indicted for stealing, away from the money until proven innocent or guilty. I want the police officer who’s suspected of shooting someone without just cause to be off the streets until proven innocent or guilty. I want the school teacher who’s accused of touching a child improperly to be suspended until proven innocent or guilty.

    If someone else besides Mr. Briggman was out there with a petition, would there be this much uproar?

    I’m sorry this has happened to one of your friends. I’m sorry her children have to go through this.

  17. Lowell Fulk says:

    To whom are you speaking?

  18. MAW says:

    Not really speaking to anyone in particular. Just voicing my opinion, for what it’s worth.

  19. Emmy says:

    Well for starters, she isn’t one of my friends. I’ve only met the woman one time. If it were a violent crime, maybe I would feel differently, but I’m under the impression that she is being very closely monitored, so I’m not worried about the safety of my money. In fact, I got my city decal in the mail today after writing a check to her.

    If someone else were out there with this petition, I have no idea how people would feel. But, someone else isn’t, its the “incredibly busy” Dave who has a known grudge against Benny Neal. I don’t care what he says, it reeks of a personal vendetta. I’m sure he’ll come back and tell me what an idiot I am and I really don’t care. He won’t convince me that he’s just doing this for the public good so he has tainted my (and clearly many others) opinion of his mission.

  20. Dave Briggman says:

    Lowell, there is no rush. If there were, I’d still be out gathering the signatures of city voters tonight…

    But I’m afraid you didn’t answer the question I posed to you:

    Are you or are you not in favor of voters exercising their rights under Virginia law?

  21. Baltimore girl says:

    I have never meet her, but I wouldn’t compare her to someone who touches children or shots people. It’s not even in the same ballpark.

  22. Draegn88 says:

    Maw, I do not like the thought of suspending someone until proven innocent or guilty. Suspending someone is in itself a punishment and to do so before proving innocence or guilt, creates a false sense of guilt before the trial even begins.

  23. MAW says:

    She is being charged with crimes directly related to her job. I’m not talking about the crimes themselves. I’m comparing the circumstances of whether or not she should remain in office just because she’s an elected official. If she were in the private sector, she would have been suspended or fired immediately.

  24. MAW says:

    Draegn88, you wouldn’t have a choice unless you were an elected official. No petition could get your job back for you.

  25. Lowell Fulk says:

    Thank you Baltimore Girl and Draegn88,

    And if ever Ms. Neal would endeavor to cross every t and dot every i, it would be while she is under such the microscope that she finds herself now.

    And MAW, perhaps I’ve missed something, but was she indicted for stealing? Are there funds missing? I’m not meaning to argue, but that must have gotten by me.
    Oh and by the way MAW, your opinion is worth a great deal.

    And David (B), so also is yours. But you continue to avoid my question to you. You are indeed in a rush. The indictments were handed down only this week. The very next day you launched this, your latest crusade.

    I’ll ask you again, what is the rush?

    And David (B), I certainly respect a citizen’s prerogative to exercise their rights under the law; I would also caution that such should be done using reason, good judgment, and common sense.

  26. Dave Briggman says:

    Two different standards of proof and two completely different issues, Draegn88.

  27. Lowell Fulk says:

    “If someone else besides Mr. Briggman was out there with a petition, would there be this much uproar?”

    As is quite often the case, Dave is at the center of the uproar.

    And I can promise, if Dave found himself the subject of this seeming persecution, I would be every bit as critical on his behalf.

    I consider him a friend and would stand up for him.

  28. Lowell Fulk says:

    Here’s a question I’d like to pose.

    Who among those posting here has ever served as a member of a jury?

  29. MAW says:

    “And MAW, perhaps I’ve missed something, but was she indicted for stealing? Are there funds missing? I’m not meaning to argue, but that must have gotten by me.”

    You have got to be kidding me! I must have you all wrong. I thought you were an educated man. What term do you use when someone takes something from you, behind your back, without asking?

    This is where you say that if they bring it back, they were just borrowing it. Get real. I don’t know who you’re trying to fool. You know it’s stealing just as well as I do.

    Way back when I was in high school, one of my friends STOLE one of those tin ashtrays they used to put on the tables at Burger King, during a field trip. Our teacher found out about it and made her return it. The ashtray was no longer missing, but she still stole it. It’s still stealing.

    And let me clear this up before someone pops a cork. I’M NOT SAYING THAT MRS. NEAL IS GUILTY. I have no crystal ball to look into the future, but I sure know what stealing is.

  30. Lowell Fulk says:

    I suppose it won’t be difficult then to answer, was she indicted for stealing?

  31. MAW says:

    Sorry. Had to cool myself down before I could continue this ridiculous debate over the word stealing.

    No Mr. Fulk, the indictments do not use the word stealing. How does answering that question change the meaning of the word stealing?

    Now, let me ask you a question. Are you planning to run for another political office?

  32. Lowell Fulk says:

    It doesn’t change the meaning of the word stealing, but it does help clarify what the charge is, and isn’t.

  33. MAW says:

    Well, you sure are missing your calling then.

  34. Lowell Fulk says:

    You know MAW, I’m not sure what my calling is. I hope one day to figure it out. I keep asking God what it is he wants me to do… And I’m really trying to listen. I guess my hearing isn’t all that good.

  35. MAW says:

    Well Mr. Fulk, you put on a good debate like a politician.

  36. Lowell Fulk says:

    I don’t know about all of that MAW, but I do know that I wish all citizens were as engaged as you show yourself to be. We would all be better off.

  37. MAW says:

    I don’t know how engaged I am. Enraged, maybe. I’ve been trying to fight off a bug that’s trying to attack me. I’ve been like a bear with a sore behind all week because I feel so tired and run down. I took the day off to sleep, suck down lots of apple juice and chicken noodle soup and of course there was no school today. So I’ve been cooped up in this house all day with a 12 year old boy and a pain in the butt dog, feeling like crap.

    Sorry you were a victim of circumstance!!!

  38. just passing through says:

    I would think that City residents would be as angry about a county resident messing in City affairs as someone would be about illegal aliens sneaking into our country and messing with our affairs.
    Also, there is a fine line between stealing and borrowing until I can pay it back without you knowing it. I think that this is more an abuse of position situation, but it is not far enough from stealing that I would want to live on the balance.

  39. Dave Briggman says:

    Lowell, Virginia Code Section §18.2-112 is for EMBEZZLEMENT:

    § 18.2-112. Embezzlement by officers, etc., of public or other funds; default in paying over funds evidence of guilt.

    If any officer, agent or employee of the Commonwealth or of any city, town, county, or any other political subdivision, or the deputy of any such officer having custody of public funds, or other funds coming into his custody under his official capacity, knowingly misuse or misappropriate the same or knowingly dispose thereof otherwise than in accordance with law, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony; and any default of such officer, agent, employee or deputy in paying over any such funds to the proper authorities when required by law to do so shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his guilt.

  40. Seth says:

    i doubt anyone is really still keeping up anymore now that the fireworks have died down but i wondered about Dave’s (M) comment re prosecutors not usually going on witch hunts. i’m no expert but i think that the ACLU might disagree. for a completely unscientific perspective, google prosecutor witch hunt. and then remember mike nifong. i don’t think you can place all the blame in that one squarely on his shoulders (the court of public opinion really wanted those dudes to go down) but he’s a good example of a prosecutor getting carried away. elliot spitzer is another name i’ve heard in this pantheon. if i had to name my all time favorite witch hunting prosecutor it would be the very special kenneth starr. i think my point is clear. i don’t mean to place ms. garst in league with any of the aforementioned gentlemen, but i think that it’s clear that sometimes the alleged good guys aren’t doing the work of good.

  41. JGFitzgerald says:

    Agreed, Seth, but those cases all carry an obvious motive. Nobody has suggested there’d be one locally.

  42. David Miller says:

    If I may summarize your point it would be this
    -Some prosecutors have provenly gone on witch hunts, therefore that presents the option that our local prosecutor could do the same.
    sound fair?
    You are technically correct but in a small town like this, hopefully the witch hunter would wind up being the one burned. Just as in the quoted examples. Either way, the same point many of us have made the whole time is this’

    Let the courts decide guilt, then we’ll take appropriate action.

  43. Seth says:

    yeah that’s sort of it….
    more just that the prosecutors aren’t always the good guys. ask any nonviolent drug offender.

  44. David Miller says:

    I agree completely with your sentiment, just not the implication. A prosecutor’s role is the tail end of the enforcement process; drug law idiocy is nowhere involved in that process. The drug laws themselves are what need reform and that’s on the political side of things.

  45. Seth says:

    and i think we see eye to eye on the fallibity of our courts.

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