T he POSTAL CUSTOMER King George Ruth J. Herrink Publisher, The Journal Sept. 8, 1926 - Oct. 12, 2013 Volume 37, Number 42 King George files suit to get land back from Project Faith Breach of contract cited, fraud and misrepresentation alleged Phyllis Cook King George County this week filed a lawsuit to get back a 5.53acre parcel of land given to Project FAITH, Inc., in 2012, The county asks the Circuit Court to rescind the Deed of Gift and Performance Agreement, “as though the subject deed and agreement never existed.” The 10-page legal complaint was filed late Monday, Oct. 7, with service to be delivered to Froncé Wardlaw, the developer’s executive director and registered agent. Project FAITH Wednesday, October 16, 2013 50 Cents helping you relate to your community Gateway Urgent Care update First time since 2001 has 21 days from the date of service to respond to the complaint. The county’s legal complaint was filed by attorney Edward “Sunny” Cameron, who is serving as special counsel for this matter, as he has on other county litigation. Cameron was appointed by King George County Attorney Eric Gregory, who is working closely with him and coordinating the litigation. (See related article elsewhere in this edition about additional correspondence and requests from HELP Center attorneys.) Project FAITH had recently threatened filing its own litigation against the county over the project. It now appears likely that the developer will attempt to defend the county’s See Suit, page 6 Leonard Banks James Monroe linemen endured a long, and frustrating night as they attempted to slow down Fox running back, Jordi Estes (#2). Thomas welcomed as new Director of Economic Development Phyllis Cook Linwood Thomas was recently welcomed to King George as the county’s new Director of Economic Development. He took over the position on Sept. 30, to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Nicole Thompson, which was effective at the end of July. Thomas was introduced to Supervisors by Travis Quesenberry, county administrator, at a board meeting on Oct. 1. And he was in place at last week’s meeting of the Economic Development Authority (EDA) on Oct. 10. Thomas told Supervisors, “I’m excited to be a part of the team. For the last few weeks, people have come up and congratulated me, and all I could tell them was that I was happy to get started.” He’d ‘hit the ground running,’ saying prior to starting the job, he had attended the library’s grand re-opening on the previous Saturday. He added, “I’ve formally met all of you, but I’d like to get a chance to chat with each of you,” adding that he was looking forward to setting up some times with board members. Supervisor Chairman Dale Sisson greeted Thomas, saying, “We welcome you onboard, and we welcome your energy.” Sisson also noted that Thomas has been involved with the county through his previous position with Fredericksburg Regional Alliance (FRA), adding to him, “You know what we have in the works, and now we look forward to you closing those deals.” Supervisor Cedell Brooks said, “I’m excited about Linwood being here. He seems like he’s a ball of energy, and he’s excited about King George County. And I think that’s the key thing that an economic development director has got to be – excited about what you’re doing.” Supervisor John LoBuglio related that he’d met Thomas and spoke briefly with him at the library opening, adding, “For a brief discussion, it was a very good one. I look forward to sitting down with you for a longer one.” Supervisor Joe Grzeika welcomed Thomas, adding, “I’ve had the privilege to work with Linwood on the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance for several years now. He’s going to make a good addition to our team.” Thomas held a position with the FRA since September 2008. The Fredericksburg Regional Alliance is a public/private economic development marketing partnership that serves Planning District 16, which includes King George, along with Caroline, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Fredericksburg. Thomas had also told Supervisors he had been working on an advertisement to run in the Washington Business Journal, as well as on a marketing calendar for potential targeted industry marketing, so King George can get in front of site consultants, brokers and potential CEOs and CFOs. At the EDA’s meeting last week, Thomas shared the advertisement with the group, which See Thomas, page 6 — Jessica Herrink Project FAITH requests hearing Phyllis Cook Jessica Herrink Although he was not officially on the job yet, Linwood Thomas (left) was at the ribbon cutting for L. E. Smoot Memorial Library on Sept. 28. Gusmann, Dempsey lead fight against domestic violence in county Richard Leggitt Despite the fact that Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act 20 years ago, the fight against domestic violence continues. In the United States, one woman in four, and one man in seven will be the victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. There were 155 victims of domestic violence in King George County in 2012, and that sad statistic has led King George Commonwealth’s Attorney Keri Gusmann and King George Sheriff Steve Dempsey to put the effort to reduce domestic violence at the top of their agendas. “Everyone has a right to be safe in their homes,” Gusmann said. Gusmann said there are, unfortunately, many people locally and nationally who continue to live in fear in their own homes. “If that is you, you are not alone, there is help available,” Gusmann said. “The Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).” October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Gusmann and her staff, as well as Dempsey and his officers, are urging citizens to remember the toll that domestic violence takes on our society. “Pinwheels have been placed on the King George Courthouse lawn to represent the 155 people who were affected by Domestic Violence in King George County in 2012. That number only accounts for cases in which the defendant was arrested and charges were brought to court,” Gusmann said. “These 155 pinwheels represent each person in King George that either was physically assaulted or personally witnessed the attack. This does not count the many, many calls the King George Sheriff ’s Office responded to that did not result in an arrest,” Gusmann said. “Most of all, this number does not count the many victims of domestic violence that are out there and have not been able to come forward. Quite candidly, we could have placed 25,000 pinwheels, one for each resident The Herrink family built the Gateway Urgent Care building specifically to house an urgent care and medical offices. It was built to the specifications of the tenant, King George Medical Center, Ltd. We learned last week that the urgent care would be closing on Oct. 18 when the company notified the King George Board of Supervisors in a letter. We were aware that Dantra Healthcare, Inc. intended to file for bankruptcy and had already started, before the bankruptcy filing, the process of trying to find another urgent care operation to take over the facility, after notifying the bank which holds the loan. Since the bankruptcy filing and the news that the current tenant will be closing at the end of this week, the search process has taken on a new urgency. Despite the death of Ruth Herrink, who was instrumental in constructing the building, the Herrink family has been in discussions with companies interested in stepping in to continue to provide urgent care in King George and the surrounding area. of King George, because domestic violence does affect us all, even if we do not recognize it,” Gusmann said. “From the taxpayer dollars that pay the Sheriff ’s Office to investigate and arrest, to the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to prosecute those cases, and the salaries of the judges and the clerks, when the case is brought to court,” Gusmann said. Gusmann would not discuss specific cases because of her concern for putting a domestic violence victim in further jeopardy, but she said her office has a “no drop” policy when dealing with domestic violence. “Which means, once the defendant is charged with domestic violence, my office does not ‘drop’ or dismiss the charge. This is done to protect victims of domestic violence,” Gusmann said. “Most, if not all times, the defendant will try to pressure the victim to drop the charge. My office takes that burden off of the victim. In a criminal case, it is the Commonwealth of Virginia vs. John Richard Leggitt To remember King George victims of domestic violence during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 155 pinwheels have been placed on the lawn of the courthouse. T. Smith. It is not the victim vs. the defendant.” “We prosecute domestic violence cases on the first, second and third Mondays of the month. We have a Victim Witness Coordinator that is available to help the victim through the court experience,” Gusmann said. “In addition, Empowerhouse (formerly known as Rappahannock Last month, ten days after a Sept. 10 letter was penned to King George County by Project FAITH’s attorney, Stephen West, that threatened potential litigation, another notification was likewise sent to the county. That Sept. 20 notice from West bolstered its previous litigation threat by naming additional lawyers to the Project FAITH litigation team. The reason for the threatened litigation, and for an actual lawsuit since filed by King George, is over the issue of county land given to Project FAITH in 2012 for a planned HELP Center. King George filed its Oct. 7 legal complaint against the developer as a remedy to get back a 5.529acre parcel of land given to Project FAITH, Inc. (PFI), because the project never got off the ground. The county is primarily suing for breach of contract against the developer for not meeting a required deadline of Aug. 1, 2013, for commencement of construction. (See related article with details on the county’s legal filing elsewhere in this issue.) LITIGATION TEAM ADDITIONS The purpose of West’s Sept. 20 letter was to notify King George County Attorney Eric Gregory that more lawyers were added to Project FAITH’s litigation team, including Clark Leming, a long-time Stafford real estate development attorney. The letter also mentioned two other See request, page 6 See VIOLENCE, page 6 Now you can follow local breaking news daily on our website at www.journalpress.com Mobile Banking You now have the FREEDOM to access your accounts ANYTIME you want. Download your FREE app for iPhones, iPads, & Androids, or go to nswcfcu.org on your internet ready device. NSWC Federal Credit Union Visit nswcfcu.org for details.