Prince William County’s three Republican supervisors allege that a Democratic supervisor sent county law enforcement to intimidate a resident.
“Earlier this month, Democrat Prince William County Supervisor Andrea Bailey, and her husband Cozy Bailey, the head of the Prince William County NAACP, used the Prince William County Police Department to silence and intimidate a conservative resident critical of Supervisor Bailey and the Democrat Board majority,” Supervisor Yesli Vega said in an email announcement.
Supervisors Pete Candland, Jeanine Lawson, and Vega wrote a letter to Board Chair Ann Wheeler asking for Police Chief Peter Newsham to appear at the next board meeting.
According to a police report, on August 3, Detective Victor Cordero was assigned to investigate an allegedly threatening email sent to the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) that had been forwarded to Newsham. In the report and copies of emails provided to The Virginia Star, the names of both the reporting party and the author of the email to the supervisors were redacted by the department.
Cordero said, “The reporting party, REDACTED (husband REDACTED) emailed the Prince William County Chief of Police, Peter Newsham, indicating an email sent by REDACTED contained malice language in the body of the email rant and that he takes all communicated threats seriously.”
The email sent to Newsham said, “More malice in the subject line than in the rant contained in the body of the email, but we take all communicated threats seriously.”
The subject of the email to the Board was “Government Target.” That email accuses the BOCS of lying, manipulating a review of an “Equity and Inclusion Policy,” and engaging in “ethically questionable deals.”
“Once again, you say the quiet parts out loud. In the recent meeting, Supervisor Bailey was caught whispering to [BOCS Chair Ann Wheeler] ‘What about you going to do about Alan Gloss?’ The smart answer to that is ‘nothing.’ If anything happens to him, you will face even more investigation and scrutiny than has already been revealed,” the email states.
Later, the author adds, “The Board’s continual action *against* the citizens’ advocacy shows they are not conducting with the citizens’ interests in mind.”
Alan Gloss is one of three residents who recently sued the Democratic supervisors, according to Inside NOVA.
Cordero reported, “Although the email REDACTED believes to be malice in nature and refers to it as a communicated threat, without evidence of a direct threat, the vague nature of the statements made in the email places it within the protection of the Free Speech clauses of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States Constitution.”
First Sergeant Bradford Cavender visited the email author.
“This afternoon I spoke with REDACTED at his residence as a consensual encounter regarding the recent email entitled Government Target which was sent to the BOCS. REDACTED initially did not want to engage in a conversation over the email, but allowed me to state the reason why I was at his residence. I informed him there was no violation of law, but I wanted to provide any guidance on the law if desired,” Cavender said in an internal email. “REDACTED stated he intended to continue to send his vitriol to the BOCS, but also conceded he understood he used ‘poor wording’ in the subject line of his email. He insisted the subject was referring to citizens being a Government Target and not ‘targeting the government,’ referencing the comments made about Mr. Alan Gloss during the BOCS meeting.”
Potomac Local News obtained bodycam footage showing the encounter lasted about 10 minutes.
“In our discussions with the sender, this appeared to be a misunderstanding and no threat was intended. This was not an investigation, but simply us making a consensual contact to with the sender to have a reasonable discussion over what the email was intended,” the Prince William Police Department said in a statement. “We certainly recognize free speech, and we seek to preserve everyone’s rights. However, in this matter, a resident of our community brought an email they had received to our attention because of a perceived concern. We would take all matters of these types of situations seriously, regardless of who is involved.”
Bailey did not respond to a request for comment.
“The public record is clear that after the individual sent an email to the Board of County Supervisors where he was critical of certain members of the Board, the Police were sent to his house, even though it was determined that he had not done anything illegal,” Candland, Lawson, and Vega said in their letter. “Even the appearance of impropriety in the use of our police force must be addressed to ensure our first responders are never again placed in the difficult position witnessed in the body cam video in question.”
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