Comments posted to Loudoun Times Mirror, “Lansdowne Candidates Focus on Schools,” by Laura Peters
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011
Posted Fri, Oct 28 at 11:03 AM by Otto Von Bismarck
The Federal Investigation requested by Sarah Stinger is already underway. The investigation is centered around the acquisition of school sites in Loudoun County. The prices that the County contracts for school sites is almost always double what the actual market value of those sites is. The specific transactions that they are reviewing are Wheatlands, Lenah, the Telos Office Building, the National Conference Center among a few others. The FBI and the Dept. of Education investegators named David Scott and Eileen Duffy respectively are assigned to these open cases. They have been contacting various members of the county including the county assessors office as well as some of the candidates for the Board of Supervisors asking questions about site acquisitions. Often there is an additional agent involved in this process not listed above to serve as an additional witness. The case has been expanded to investigate the Board of Supervisors due to the recent unanimous vote in favor of acquiring the National Conference Center site at more than double the assessed value of land. Bob Wertz is campaigning to get control over Todd Kauffman, the County Assessor, because he was campaigning for a higher assessment for the NCC site of around $45 million. The Board of Equalization heard the reassessment proposal in June or July and at the time they reassessed the site at about $32 million. Accidentally, a local reporter attended the hearing and was thrown out. There is a court case over this matter in the Loudoun County courts right now and was reported on here: http://leesburgtoday.com/news/article_7767f77c-ff61-11e0-8324-001cc4c002e0.html The reporter was thrown out of the hearing and the hearing proceeded under a veil of secrecy. Normally these matters are open to the public and RECORDED. This meeting was NOT recorded. The investigators are looking for clear violations of law by both the School Board, the School Administration, and since the Board of Supervisors has now taken over the acquisition of land, they are also now under investigation. The expansion of the case to the Board of Equalization due particularly to their recent actions regarding the NCC site is now opened as well. The Board of Supervisors have taken it upon themselves to contract and purchase the NCC site at what appears to be a highly inflated price. When the past of this whole process is reviewed, it becomes evident that there is alot more to this story than what has come out so far. Why did Judge Horne assign an attorney to the BOE prior to the hearing? The Judges are the ones who appoint members of the BOE to begin with. Also, why did the Telos Office Building get considered for purchase with NO competition when there is a plentiful supply of alternatives? Why was Lenah contracted to for $20 million when land values were much lower AND the assessment had recently been appealed? Why is the NCC under contract at more than twice the reassessed value of the land that occured under a veil of secrecy? Why was Wheatlands even considered as a purchase and at what price to the County? These are all valuable questions and the many complaints that the Dept. of Education and FBI have received from residents in the county have resulted in an ongoing OPEN investigation into both the School Board & Administration AND the Board of Supervisors & the County Administration.