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May: I’ll ensure transparency in prosecutions, cases are not overturned for due process violations

Micheal C. May won special election 2007 to serve on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. 

He replaced Corey Stewart who went on to become the chairman of the board. During his time on the board, May has gained a reputation of being a moderate on the county’s governing board.

He’s argued for lower tax rates, but he’s also argued for funding government programs and services that are popular with county taxpayers.

Now May has his eyes set on the Prince William County Courthouse. He says his experience in local government and his work as an attorney has prepared him to be the region’s top prosecutor. 

He’s running against Paul Ebert, a man who has held the job since 1968. He’s also one of Virginia’s most decorated prosecutors.

Potomac Local sent a questionnaire to May and he sent us the responses below: 

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PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

May: We have to address the challenges of our growing and dynamic community. As the next Commonwealth’s Attorney, I will: keep our neighborhoods safe, modernize the office, and actively engage our diverse population to enhance public safety and crime prevention.

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

May: As your next Commonwealth’s Attorney, I will ensure we have the best and brightest lawyers serving as our prosecutors, and I will work with them to bring those who commit crimes in our community to justice.

We will modernize the office by employing new technologies to keep citizens informed. We will also ensure appropriate transparency during criminal prosecutions so that cases are not overturned for violations of Due Process (as has occurred under the incumbent’s watch).

Finally, we will implement a proactive community outreach plan to engage with our dynamic and diverse population. We need to enhance crime prevention, rather than passively waiting for crimes to occur and addressing them after the fact.

PL: From your prospective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

May: The position of Commonwealth’s Attorney (prosecutor) is one of the most important positions in the government because the power to take one’s life or liberty is the most awesome power that government can wield.

The ultimate check on that power thus appropriately rests with the citizens through the popular vote. Accordingly, the elected Commonwealth’s Attorney establishes the policies that reflect our community’s values, and ensures that his or her staff and assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys serve the citizens in a manner consistent with those values.

The job necessarily requires oversight, management and legal skills. The elected Commonwealth’s Attorney must ultimately ensure justice for our community.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

May: As a Member of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors for the past eight years, I have been intimately involved in management, oversight, and setting policy direction for the Prince William community; particularly in the area of public safety.

We have had some great success in this area and we are fortunate to have such a hardworking and dedicated police force working to keep us safe. In addition to being a Member of the Board of County Supervisors, I have also spent the past ten years as a successful trial attorney for a private law firm, Albo & Oblon, LLP. During that time, I have successfully litigated jury and bench trials in the federal courts and several state courts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

This combination of policy, management and legal experience is the ideal background for this important office.

PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency?

May: Unfortunately, the average citizen is not well-informed on local government issues. It is the responsibility of elected leaders in all areas of government to proactively reach out to the community to keep it informed of important issues.

This has simply not occurred with the current administration. Instead, under the leadership of the 47 year incumbent, the office has lost touch with our community and I will change this if elected.

For example, we will have frequent public safety related town hall meetings; we will use social media and other means of communication to keep citizens informed; we will partner with our schools, civic groups, and faith organizations to develop a more well-informed public; and, we will implement a proactive outreach plan targeted particularly to the many new immigrant communities who may not understand and actually fear our criminal justice system.

If people do not trust or have confidence in the system, it will not function and it is the responsibility of elected leaders to build that trust. This will take hard work and dedication beyond just a 9-5 workday, but I am up for the challenge and ready to tackle it on day one.

PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they effected you?

May: I am sure that I have made mistakes, in both my private life and public life. Mistakes are a part of being a human being.

All you can do is own up to them and try to learn from them. This makes you a better person and a better elected official. As I have considered the question, I cannot point to one defining mistake that has changed the very manner in which I comport myself as a public official.

However, you can be sure that every experience, whether a success or failure, has helped to shape who I am as a person and my service to our community.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

May: I have been honored to serve our community over the past eight years on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. During this time, I have always sought to build upon the trust and confidence that our community has placed in me. Leadership is about putting our community first.

If given the opportunity to serve as the next Commonwealth’s Attorney, I will always remember that the office does not belong to me; rather, it belongs to the citizens of Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park. This election is about our future, and I am ready to lead the Office of Commonwealth’s Attorney as we modernize and bring it in the 21st Century.

Why we note political parties of local candidates

Some candidates rise and fall with their party affiliation. For others, it simply doesn’t matter.

For example, take candidates running for school board in Virginia. A provision in the state code mandates all candidates for school board run without the affiliation of a political party and seek offices as independent.

In the 2015 race for Prince William County School Board Chairman, candidate Ryan Sawyers is endorsed by the Prince William Democratic Committee and Tim Singstock won an endorsement by the Prince William County Republican Committee. Tracy Conroy is running as an independent.

When voters go to the polls, they won’t see a letter on the ballot denoting any party affiliation.

“Parties can endorse anyone they want to, but party endorsement is different from party declaration on a ballot,” said Diana Dutton, with the Prince William County Office of Elections.

State law requires ballots only show political affiliation for offices such as Governor, Lt. Governer, Attorney General, House of Delegates, Virginia Senate, and congressional offices.

Also on the list of no required political affiliation — candidates for boards of supervisors, and those seeking office on a town or city council with a charter that doesn’t require naming political affiliation.

At Potomac Local, we do note party affiliation for candidates even if Virginia law states candidates don’t have to.
We work hard to cover local elections in Prince William and Stafford counties, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. It is our job to tell our readers that parties endorse candidates.

After all, a political party that lends its endorsement to a candidate must believe that person is the best person who would best represent that party’s views while serving in office. These candidates are also more likely to receive donations from like-minded voters of these respective parties.
You can get a full list of candidates — and information about their affiliation or endorsements — at projectelection.com.

Girls learn about STEM jobs at British Airways, Boys & Girls Club event

British ADSC_0585irways and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington hosted an event this week to encourage young girls to pursue careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields.

The event, which was hosted on August 4 at the Washington Dulles Airport and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, gave the chance for 22 middle and high school-aged girls to meet with professionals in the STEM field, and learn about their career options.

During the event, the girls received a private museum tour, a viewing of a history of aviation movie, an airport tour, and time to speak with professionals onboard one of British Airways’ A380 planes.

This event was part of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ mission to enhance the lives of youth in the community.

*This promoted post was brought to you by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

Buying something from strangers? Do it in a police department parking lot

122111 PWC policeWith robberies taking place as a result of individuals meeting to buy things from strangers on Craigslist and similar sites, local law enforcement have asked that individuals meet in their parking lots to buy and sell items.

042711 Stafford Sheriff's carMore from Prince William police:

Can I use the parking lot of a county police station to lawfully buy or sell items to or from a stranger (such as through Craigslist or other online forum)?

Yes. Both county police stations and parking lots are open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be used to conduct these lawful transactions. It should be noted that the department does not assume responsibility over the sale of these items and cannot guarantee a crime will not occur, even if the transaction occurs in the parking lot of one of our facilities. This is only suggested as a deterrent towards those who may be intending to commit a crime. If a crime does occur, please report the matter promptly to police.                                                            

More from the Stafford Sheriff’s office:

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office and the Fredericksburg Police Department, joining law enforcement agencies across the nation, announce an opportunity to have a safe place for individuals to meet up with a stranger to buy or sell items. 

The three law enforcement agencies have opened up their parking lots as a safe place to purchase or sell items, often times done on the internet.  These safe zones will allow citizens a chance to conduct their business in a protected environment.  The safe zones will be available to citizens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  While the law enforcement agencies are not responsible for the sale of items, they are committed to providing citizens with an area where they feel safe when making such transactions. The well-lit parking lots also provide video surveillance around the clock.

“If individuals hesitate to make a transaction at one of our headquarters, that can be a pretty good indicator that this may not be the person you want to do business with,” states Sheriff Charles Jett, Sheriff Roger Harris and Chief of Police David Nye.  “We are excited about providing this safe zone venue for the citizens of Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties and the City of Fredericksburg.”

The addresses for the stations are:

Prince William County Police Department
15948 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22191

Stafford County Sheriff’s Office – Public Safety Center
1225 Courthouse Road, Stafford, Virginia 22555

Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office
9119 Dean Ridings Lane, Spotsylvania, Virginia 22551

Fredericksburg Police Department
2200 Cowan Blvd., Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401

 

Victim clobbered in face, Woodbridge man charged

A Woodbridge man has been charged with unlawful wounding.

Prince William police were called to a home on Granada Way in Woodbridge on the evening of August 5, to investigate an assault.

The victim – a 22-year old Woodbridge man – told officers that he and 22-year old Travon Davis were involved in a verbal fight that escalated, stated Prince William police.

During the incident, Davis struck the victim in the face, which caused a severe injury, according to Prince William police.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment, said Prince William police.

Prince William police stated that Davis is being held without bond.

And on the same evening, Prince William police were also called to the scene of an altercation on Berkshire Drive in Woodbridge.

According to Prince William police, the victim – a 15-year old boy – told officers that he and 38-year old woman Flor Donis Arevalo, were in a verbal argument that escalated.

During the altercation, Donis Arevalo allegedly picked up a knife and chased the victim into the residence, stated Prince William police.

The victim struck Donis Arevalo in the face during the incident. The victim was not injured, stated Prince William police.

Donis Arevalo has been charged with attempted malicious wounding, according to Prince William police.

Kandy Hilliard: Medicaid expansion is a big piece of the puzzle

Kandy Hilliard is no stranger to the political landscape in Stafford County. She served as the Aquia District representative on the Board of Supervisors from 2001 to 2005. 

The Democrat lists helping to secure $30 million in fundng to preserve the Crow’s Nest Natural Area, a sprawling wetland area on the Potomac and Accokeek creeks in Stafford County as one of her many accomplishments. 

Today, she’s going up against longtime incumbent Republican Bill Howell. He’s served the 28th district, which includes portions of Stafford and King George counties, and Fredericksburg, for 27 years. He’s also been the Speaker of the House since 2003.

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PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?

Hilliard: Reducing traffic congestion, adequate funding for schools, bringing living wage jobs to our community.

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

Hilliard: When talking about these three issues, Medicaid expansion is a big piece of the puzzle. According to the Commonwealth Institute, Medicaid Expansion would give over 195,000 Virginians health insurance, improving the health of our workforce. It also brings 30,000 good paying jobs to Virginia. With three local hospitals, one that already laid off over 60 people, I think it makes good sense to bring good paying jobs to our community.

I believe it is critically important to work with our local, state and national partners to leverage every resource available to us.  That helps us keep taxes low. Medicaid Expansion would bring $1.7 billion to the General Fund.  Based on current trends in the Virginia budget, we spend 30% of the General Fund on public education. This could mean an additional $515 million in the state budget for our public schools. It makes good economic sense, and that is why so many other states have accepted the expansion.

Additionally, HOT lanes cannot be our only solution to traffic gridlock. They are too costly and they dump out right here in Stafford. We need to invest in public transit (VRE, Metro, and bus service). Wouldn’t it be nice if VRE operated going both ways so people could use it to travel during off hours? It is also critical that we prioritize infrastructure, and ensure that we build complete streets that are safe for drivers and pedestrians.  We need to be thinking long term about transportation solutions.

PL: From your prospective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

Hilliard: I believe the person elected to this office should be a representative for the people of the 28th District. Your Delegate should be fighting for the welfare and of all residents, businesses and organizations in the district. This job requires you to listen to all sides of an issue, bring forward legislation and vote based on what is best for the community as a whole. Your Delegate needs to be accessible to the people, prudent with our tax dollars, and able to make the tough governing decisions that improve the everyday lives of the people of the 28th district.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

Hilliard: I am an expert in early childhood education. I have started a small business and co-founded a non-profit in this field. I have also served on the Stafford Board of Supervisors, so I have a close up and personal understanding of the needs and challenges of local government. I grew up in this community and I raised my family here. My husband travels I95 everyday to get to work. I believe my family is very representative of the people of this district, and this gives me a strong understanding of the needs of our community. I want to go to Richmond to fight for the people of the 28th District.

PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency?

Hilliard: I believe most people know what they want from their government, however the challenges facing our community are complex and procedures can be arduous.  It is the role of an elected official to help citizens navigate the process and find the information they need. I will be accessible to constituents. I plan to keep the community informed through my website, newsletter, social media, and community events.

PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they effected you?

Hilliard: We are all human and we all make mistakes.  There have been times in my public life that I have regretted coming out too quickly on an issue before hearing all perspectives.  This happened when I was on the Board of Supervisors, fighting to protect Crow’s Nest from development. I had initially committed to one course of action but had to change direction when I learned that we could access different resources.  In the end, I secured $30 Million of Virginia Resources Authority Funds from then Secretary of Natural Resources, Tayloe Murphy, to purchase the land. We had a favorable outcome, but I learned the importance of hearing from all stakeholders before committing to a specific course of action.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

Hilliard:  I am ready to go to Richmond to fight for the people of the 28th District – not special interests that have too great an influence over our legislators. I will focus on finding common ground to bring solutions to our challenges. I will be accessible to you when you have a question or concern. I will focus on improving the lives people in our community every single day, and I will do it with integrity and honesty.

Prince William School Board Chairman debate set for Oct. 12

Sawyers

Sawyers

Updated

Tracy Conroy will participate in the Prince William County School Board Chairman debate scheduled for Oct. 12.

Original post

Candidates Tim Singstock and Ryan Sawyers for the Prince William County School Board

Singstock

Singstock

Chairman’s race will meet for a debate hosted by Potomac Local on October 12 at 7 p.m.

The candidates are hoping to fill the seat of vacating incumbent Milt Johns, and will debate local issues concerning the schools in Prince William County.

 

Conroy

Conroy


You may submit questions for the school board debate.

The debate will be held at the Dar Alnoor Islamic Community Center at 5404 Hoadly Road in Woodbridge.

Tracy Conroy, the independent candidate for the race, was invited to participate in the debate. We have not received confirmation as to whether she will participate.

Potomac Local is hosting the event, in partnership with the Prince William County Democratic Committee and the Prince William County Republican Committee.

The candidates were briefed on the format of the debate as follows:

— Candidates will be introduced to the audience
— Short bios for each candidate will be read
— A candidate will be asked a specific question
— The candidate will have three minutes to respond
— An opposing candidate will have three minutes for rebuttal
— A new question is asked of different candidate and process repeats

Potomac Local will accept reader-submitted questions that may be asked of the candidates during the debates.

The event is open to the public.

Campaign literature and signs are only permitted outside of the community center building and must be removed upon event conclusion.

Uber driver charged for sexual assault in Woodbridge

Update

We have a statement from Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett, about the incident. 

“The driver partner’s access to the Uber platform has been permanently removed, and we continue to investigate the incident. We have reached out to the rider to offer our support and stand ready to assist the authorities,” stated Bennett.
 
According to Bennett, the driver was using the uberX platform and his account was deactivated following his arrest. 

 

Original post

An Uber driver has been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery.

A woman told police she was groped after hailing a ride from the driver in Woodbridge.

More from a Prince William police release:

On July 14th at 9:01PM, officers began an investigation into an assault which was reported to have occurred in the 2200 block of York Dr in Woodbridge (22191) on July 12th around 3:15AM. The victim, a 24 year old woman of Woodbridge, reported to police that she and a female acquaintance were picked up by a driver in the Clarendon section of Arlington using the UBER service phone application to get a ride home. The driver drove both women to an address in the above area on York Dr in Woodbridge. Once there, the driver exited the vehicle and approached the victim. During the encounter, the driver inappropriately groped the victim over her clothing. The victim’s acquaintance did not witness the encounter. Following the investigation, detectives from the Special Victims Unit were able to identify the driver as the accused. Warrants for the accused were obtained on August 4th followed by his subsequent arrest on August 5th.

Big prizes at Boys & Girls Club ‘duck race’ fundraiser

The Greater Washington Boys & Girls Club will be hosting their first ‘Pirate Duck Race’ event at the Splashdown Water Park in Manassas.

The fundraiser will start Saturday, Aug. 22 at 11 a.m., and participants that buy rubber ducks from the organization will be able to ‘race’ them at the water park’s lazy river, said Prince William Boys & Girls Club President Jason Hickman.

Participants also get a discounted rate of $9 to enter the water park that day.

“It’s to raise awareness for the Boys & Girls Club – it’s a fundraiser. The money stays in the Northern Virginia region,” Hickman said.

Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish will be announcing the start of the race, and the winners will be eligible to win some exciting prizes.

Hickman said that the prizes included Redskins tickets, fitness training certificates, $25 gift certificates to downtown Manassas restaurants, cash prizes, airline tickets, Potomac Nationals tickets, and even hotel stays.

The goal for the Boys & Girls Club is to sell 5,000 rubber ducks, said Hickman.

Each duck costs $5, or are sold 10 for $45 and 20 for $90, according to Hickman.

The Boys & Girls Club will be hosting pub crawls in downtown Manassas on August 7 and 14, to promote the event and sell ducks, according to Hickman. The pub crawls will include El Cactus, Okra’s, CJ Finz and Monza.

“We are hopeful on having a good turnout from not only the people who buy the ducks, but also government officials who will be coming out as well,” said Hickman.

You can still register online for the event.

*This promoted post was brought to you by Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire.

GOP likes former Prince William judge for Virginia Supreme Court

Following the retirement of Justice LeRoy Millette, the Republicans have stated that they will support Judge Rossie Alston for the vacancy on Virginia’s Supreme Court.

More from a release:

Judge Alston has served on the Court of Appeals since 2009. He was elected as a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge for Prince William County in 1998 and was elevated to the Circuit Court in 2001. He served as Chief Judge of the Prince William Circuit Court from 2007 until his election to the Virginia Court of Appeals.

The Old Dominion Bar Association rated Judge Alston “highly qualified and recommended” for the Supreme Court. The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association rated him “highly qualified.” He was also endorsed by the Virginia Bar Association and the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys. Although the Virginia State Bar did not endorse candidates for the current vacancy citing time constraints, they unanimously endorsed Judge Alston for the most recent previous Supreme Court vacancy.

“Judge Alston has the experience to be an outstanding addition to the Supreme Court of Virginia,” Speaker Howell noted. “While several great candidates were considered, Judge Alston’s experience on the Court of Appeals and his service as a Chief Judge for the 31st Circuit make him ideally suited for this vacancy.

“Judge Alston has earned widespread support in the House, and it is our intention to elect him when the special session convenes.” “In their evaluation of the candidates for this vacancy, the four bar associations that issued recommendations all endorsed Judge Alston,” remarked Senator Norment. “That the Old Dominion Bar House and Senate Republicans Announce Support for Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. for Supreme Court Vacancy Page 2 Association took the extra step of rating him ‘highly qualified and recommended’ is evidence of the respect he has earned in his 17 years on the bench.

“The Constitution of Virginia vests the authority to elect judges with the General Assembly. Although Governor McAuliffe has designated a different candidate, who is also highly qualified, a consensus has developed among the members of the Senate Republican Caucus that Judge Alston should fill this vacancy. As a result, I expect Judge Alston will be elected to the Virginia Supreme Court during the special session.”

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