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Rockingham County Takes Over Court Cases

25 November 2019 Front Royal/Warren County News

November 25, 2019

FRONT ROYAL – The Rockingham County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office will handle two Warren Circuit Court prosecutions from now on.

Late last week, Judge Bruce Albertson ruled that the Rockingham County CA will take over the prosecution for charges from a special grand jury investigation involving the Front Royal/Warren County Economic Development Authority. Both the Interim Commonwealth’s Attorney and Commonwealth’s Attorney-elect in Warren County recused themselves from the case. Bryan Layton, the Interim Commonwealth’s Attorney in Warren County, stepped away from the case citing his upcoming end-of-term. The case involving the EDA is a large one, and Layton believed that it would not be best for him to continue working it since he will no longer be in that position come January of next year. CA-elect John Bell recused himself, citing a conflict of interest. His current law firm represents a defendant’s spouse in the same case.

The cases stemming from the EDA investigation, will be pushed to a later date. Michael Parker, the assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Rockingham County, will likely take charge of the prosecution in the coming months.

Albertson also said in court last week that a case involving a petition of removal against the Warren County Board of Supervisors will be pushed into the future. Parker will become the new prosecutor in that case as well.

In October, Warren County residents filed a petition of removal against Dan Murray, Archie Fox, Tom Sayre, Linda Glavis and Tony Carter. The signatures on the petition have been counted and validated to the court. The next challenge facing it is the legality of the claim to begin with. Residents claimed that the Board members lacked awareness and may have acted criminally due to their inaction with regards to the Jennifer McDonald/EDA scandal. The defendants representation instead argued that the Board had no control over the EDA’s decision making or hiring choices, and that they may be protected by Virginia State code. Misfeasance and nonfeasance charges were dropped in the Warren Circuit Court in October against each of the Supervisors.


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