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Haymarket Vice Mayor Censured, Fined

HAYMARKET, Va. — Jay Tobias, Haymarket’s vice mayor, was censured and is now forced to pay a $250 fine for alleged misconduct stemming from public intoxication charges filed on the day of the town’s largest public celebration.

Town officials Monday voted 4-3 to force Tobias to pay the fine on our before Oct. 21. Officials also censured Planning Commission and former Town Council member Robert Wier after Mayor David Leake pressed charges on him, claiming he was standing on a public street in mid conversation when Wier walked up to him and began cursing at him.

Tobias, who on Monday questioned whether the town council had the legal authority to impose such a fine, was one of three dissenting votes on the measure.

Police said the charges stem from incidents that took place on Haymarket Day on Sept. 21, which is the largest annual event in the small western Prince William County town.

The town council will now review its code of conduct and ethics polices that elected officials need at adhere to, which have not been updated in many years, according to officials.

News of the arrests drew several comments from town residents who said the alleged incidents resulted in the black eye for the town.

“I don’t know the reasoning behind this kind of behavior but it’s an embarrassment to the town, it’s an embarrassment to us, and If we want to be represented in Prince William County and be taken seriously we need to start taking our town seriously,” said Pam Swinford.

She went on to say Tobias should be removed from office. Others said the arrest was bad for business.

“I’ve considered moving my business back to Haymarket, and moving me and my wife back to Haymarket. But recent events tell me this is not where we want to be…what is going on in Haymarket? We see this kind of thing in the capital, not Haymarket. We want some peace,” said Charlie DeGraw, of Manassas.

Ralph Ring, of Haymarket, said residents should wait until Tobias appears in court before making a judgment on his ability to lead.

“We should not be trying these things in the court of public opinion, we should wait until a court date happens, we should let all sides present their evidence, and let a judge determine it. Then, if you want to ask for dismissal based on what happens, go for it,” said Ring.

Tobias’ charge amounts to a misdemeanor. He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 7.


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  • It’s time

    Tobias needs to step down because it is the right thing to do. Bar brawls and being drunk enough in public to be arrested constitutes a major behavior deficiency of epic proportion. I don’t think any of us would agree that we want to see our public officials riding in the back of police cruisers. It is about time that Weir’s foolish behavior comes to light. Too many people are entirely fed up with him and his arrogance. You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time and the door just swung open. I am so glad someone stepped up to make him accountable for his oppugnant behavior. He needs to do our town/county a favor and go home, lock the door – and stay there!

  • Kristin Forrester

    Sounds like Haymarket continues to have difficult problems. That said, i’m unaware of any law that gives a governing body the authority to sanction each other. Elected officials are elected to carry out the business of the locality, not to oversee the conduct of their fellow electeds. Elected officials answer for their behavior and service during elections and only to the citizens who elected them. Sanctioning each other, particularly when the law doesn’t allow it, undermines the authority of the citizens and makes the suggestion that the elected officials who feel they have this authority see themselves as above their roles as public servants.
    I assume that if a councilmember broke a law, then the police department would handle it appropriately and that associated fines would be enforced, by the court, under the penalty structure that already exists.

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