Brent Finnegan -- April 29th, 2008

Between the investigation, the indictment, Cynthia Fitzwater’s demotion, the petitions, yesterday’s firing of Dianne Nardi, and Treasurer Becky Neal’s attorney’s actions this afternoon, it may seem as though the Harrisonburg Treasurer’s scandal has degenerated into some sort of never-ending legal soap opera. This afternoon, Neal’s attorney filed a demurrer, claiming that to the petition to remove Neal from office is flawed (PDF copies available from WHSV and the DNR).

The petition hearing was scheduled for Thursday morning. Tomorrow, a judge will decide whether Neal’s objection is valid, in which case Thursday’s hearing my be moot.

11 Responses to “demurrer”

  1. Gene Hart says:


  2. finnegan says:



    Got this confused with this.

  3. Dave Briggman says:

    And the Commonwealth has filed an Objection to Neal’s Motion for a Continuance. Since the Commonwealth represents the voters for the City of Harrisonburg by statute, the objection to the lack of 553 addresses of the signatories probably ain’t going to fly…on the otherhand, if the judge finds the lack of addresses to be a flaw in the petition, I’m sure the petition could be amended by the Voter Registrar supplying the addresses of all of the signatories in a printout under an amendment to the petition. This addresses the Rule 1:4(c) of the Rule of the Supreme Court objection.

    I think another objection was the nature of the statement to which the signatories were signing. Mr. O’Donnell, who is a great guy and a hell of an attorney, states that the signature statement doesn’t conform to the requirement set out of § 8.01-4.3 of the Code of Virginia.

    I believe the “signed under penalty of perjury” is substantially similar to the form prescribed in the statute. Similar doesn’t mean exact.

    Additionally, supposing Neal’s Demurrer is sustained by Judge Lane tomorrow, I believe the petition can be further amended to correct any flaws (if the Court believes any exists).

    Should the Court grant Mr. O’Donnell his requested continuance, the statute permits the court to suspend Neal pending the full hearing on the merits of the petition.

  4. Gxeremio says:

    At least you didn’t confuse it with demure.

    Or Demi Moore.

  5. Lao Tzu says:

    O’Donnell’s move on the flaws in the petition are brilliant. The thing was flawed from the beginning. My guess is that the Court will find for the Respondent.

    Those who wish the immediate removal of Neal from her office are using every available (even collateral) legal and political means possible to their end. Why should anyone be angry because Neal is also using every available means to her end?

    While I’m on a roll, how about Lady Frank. Now, I can see that her filing the petition was done as a private citizen. However, her comments in this morning’s DNR were out of bounds — she clearly was speaking as a council member. This is not a matter before the council. Very bad taste. Poor form. Anyone up for a petition drive?

  6. Lao, my friend. She will sink her own boat in time. Waste not your time on someone so trivial. We have hot dogs to go eat and catching up to do!

  7. Don says:

    Would a “means” available to Mrs. Neal include terminating employees in the office of the Treasurer? One word for that – “pitiable”. Recognize it? My phrase for it is intimidation of witnesses and and it is usually a criminal offense.

    I chose not to sign a petition to remove the Treasurer before. I will sign it now if that’s what it takes to control this loose cannon.

  8. Lao Tzu says:

    Don, you are correct to point out that I omitted the very important modifier “legal” from my comment about Neal using every means. Huge error. If she did what she is accused of, then perhaps her behavior is indeed… pitiable. She does, however, have the obligation to defend herself with every LEGAL means at her disposal and should not be faulted for that.

    Mea culpa.

    Apparently no hotdogs today, fair Christa. But one day……?

  9. Dave Briggman says:

    Lao, your comments represent life as it is in some parallel universe…certainly not reality on this earth, in this time.

  10. Dave Briggman says:

    Once again I have the pleasure of nuking Lao’s rantings:

    Judge Lane has continued the Rule to Show Cause hearing until 6/12/08.

    The petition and its validity was SUSTAINED and found to be valid by Judge Lane.

    Marsha requested Judge Lane to immediately suspend her. Judge Lane took no evidence, would rule on the motion by THIS Friday. Apparently the only problem is that none of the Treasurer’s Office employees are City residents.

  11. finnegan says:

    According to TV3, acting City Treasurer Jeffrey Shafer has re-hired Dianne Nardi. Becky Neal fired Nardi a week and a half ago.

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