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UPDATE: Court date set in lawsuit against sheriff, Loudoun County

Update:

A pre-trial conference in this case has been set for Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. The second and final pre-trial conference is slated for Jan. 18 at 10 a.m.

Original story:

Attorneys for Loudoun County and Sheriff Mike Chapman (R) are seeking to have a $6 million lawsuit brought against both parties dismissed.

The suit, filed by former Loudoun County Sheriff's Office detective Mark McCaffrey, claims McCaffrey was wrongfully terminated from his position after supporting Chapman's primary election challenger in 2015. The former LCSO detective says his termination violated the U.S. and Virginia constitutions.

McCaffrey’s four-count, 50-page suit seeks compensatory money damages against all the defendants of $3.5 million, punitive damages against Chapman of $2.5 million for the alleged federal constitutional violation and $350,000 for the state constitutional violation, which is capped by Virginia law.

The suit was transferred last week from Loudoun County Circuit Court to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

McCaffrey was a supporter of Chapman’s 2015 Republican primary opponent, Eric Noble, who lost the nomination in 2015 and later went on to be Haymarket’s chief of police. Chapman comfortably won a second term that year.

McCaffrey, through his attorney, said the county and the Board of Supervisors are joined in the lawsuit because the board entered into a cooperative agreement with the sheriff, a local constitutional officer, in which the board assumed county responsibility for the personnel actions of the sheriff and adopted rules that apply across the board to protect the constitutional rights of county employees and employees of the sheriff’s office.

The board, McCaffrey alleges, did nothing to enforce the rules to keep McCaffrey from being fired out of retaliation.

According to filings for dismissal entered Monday, the county argues it should not be a party to the case because Chapman is a constitutional officer and therefore not under the control of the Board of Supervisors.

A motion to support dismissal filed by the county notes: “Under Virginia law, the Sheriff is an elected constitutional officer, empowered to appoint and remove his deputies at his discretion. Va. Code §§ 15.2-1600 and 15.2-1603. The Code of Virginia explicitly denies the County Defendants any authority to diminish the Sheriff’s powers under state law, including the powers to organize his office and to appoint and remove his deputies.”

Chapman's attorney, Alexander Francuzenko, argues McCaffrey's “complaint fails to allege sufficient facts to state a claim against Sheriff Chapman in his official capacity for Constitutional violations.”

Comments


To the victor go the spoils.


Allman is correct in his analysis with the exception that common deputies have the right to speak out without fear of retaliation.  Virginia has police powers to enact the laws they want as long as they don’t infringe on the US Constitution (thank the 14th Amd for that as before the 1860’s the Bill of Rights did not apply to states).  The question comes down to whether McCaffrey was in leadership or was a common deputy.

However, NOBODY wants to work with Plowman.  Here is a man who was mocked by national pubs after trying to bring criminal charges against an asst principal for appropriately handling sexting between students.  He cost that decent man $100K+ in legal bills for some silly charge.

And Plowman is also the man who coerces defense attorneys, you know the ones he “negotiates” with for plea bargains, to contribute more than one half of his cash campaign contributions in 2011.  Does it get any more corrupt than that for a Commonwealth’s Attorney?!


The immediate bad news is that they tried to have the case dismissed and it was not.  The County Attorney’s Office appears to be struggling.  Bad advice and bad results for their client.  The taxpayer continues to pay the bill, giving the County Attorney a fat raise, even hiring him after allegations of domestic abuse.


How is it bad news for the County? They are a defendent sued by a cry baby fired detective who thinks he has job protection! Deputies has zero job protection in Virginia and the Code of Virginia clearly says so and that has recently been affirmed by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The County is rightfully moving to be dismissed as a defendant as they have zero control over Sheriff Chapman! The county will certainly be dismissed as a defendant and Chapman will be dismissed soon. The cry baby fired detective will then have a large legal bill to pay for loser pays in Federal Court.

Any deputy clearly has the opportunity to quit and join other police departments in Northern Virginia and earn more money
. Don’t like working for Chapman? Quit! and go work somewhere else! It is really and truly that simple OR contact the board of supervisors and ask them to introduce legislation to form the Loudoun County Police Department for that is exactly what I would have already done if I would have been elected Sheriff!

Chapman is the most hated man in the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. He gets a gold star for that accomplishment but defeating him is easier said than done even after Commonwealth Attorney Plowman, Loudoun’s chief law enforcement officer said he did not want to work with him.

Brian Allman
Democratic nominee for Sherriff of Loudoun County - 2015


The Sheriff has the right to hire/fire deputies as he sees fit. Unless there is a smoking gun document that spells out the motives for why the Sheriff fired the deputy, then McCaffrey’s case is pure speculation and won’t hold up for a minute in court.

Dismiss the case and tell McCaffrey to find a new job.


More bad news for the County Attorney’s Office.  There is a long list of losses piling up.

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