Angry Virginia residents confronted the Warren County Board of Supervisors Tuesday for the first time since every member was indicted for failing to act when taxpayer money was mismanaged.
Residents packed the board meeting after learning the supervisors were going to vote on whether to have taxpayers pay for the legal defense.
“Whoever suggested this, I just want to say, it’s like a piece of crap,” supervisor candidate Leslie Mathews said.
“You have a choice today as to if you will take the citizens’ money against our will,” resident Melanie Salins said.
“Like everyone else here, I’m appalled you are asking citizens to pay for your legal fees,” resident Bonnie Gabbert said.
The supervisors and nine other county officials each face three misdemeanor charges, accused of turning a blind eye to alleged corruption and embezzlement in the Economic Development Authority Office.
“It’s time for you all to stand up and take responsibility for yourselves,” resident Karen Roberts said.
The board voted to defer the decision on legal fees until December, reasoning the criminal charges could be resolve by then.
Residents then turned their anger toward County Administrator Doug Stanley, who also faces charges.
“You need to act, and the first thing you need to do is get rid of Doug Stanley,” resident Christy Atwood said.
Stanley said his attorney won’t let him comment on the charges but said he’s not stepping down.
Board Chairman Daniel Murray, whose term ends in December, also declined to discuss the charges against him. He’s not stepping down, either, but said he may leave the county because of the toll this has taken.
“The disgraceful behavior of the people in Warren County — false accusations, things that they don’t understand — have led my wife, who’s had a stroke, and myself, have had two heart procedures in the last five months, to decide whether we want to live amongst this kind of negativity or not,” he said.
Residents are gathering signatures in a recall campaign.
These citizens not backing down though — they put the board on notice
One board member, Tom Sayre, who is running for reelection, told residents he will not try to use taxpayer dollars to pay his legal fees.