Welcome to LoudounTimes.com
Loudoun Times-Mirror

U.S. District judge rules Randall violated Lansdowne resident’s First Amendment right

Chairwoman Phyllis Randall was first elected in 2015. Times-Mirror File Photo
Loudoun County Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) acted “under the color of state law” in maintaining her “Chair Phyllis J. Randall” Facebook page and banning Lansdowne resident Brian Davison from the page overnight, yet Randall violated Davison's First Amendment right under the U.S. and Virginia constitutions in doing so, U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris has ruled in a complex case about free speech in the digital age.

Over the last two years, Davison has filed three separate civil rights lawsuits against the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and Randall, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman (R) and the Loudoun County School Board for either blocking him from their Facebook pages or deleting critical comments he posted.

Last February, Davison was blocked from Randall’s Facebook page for roughly eight hours overnight after the Lansdowne resident made critical comments of the Loudoun County School Board and members of their family.

Randall said she blocked the comment specifically because of references Davison made about family members of School Board representatives.

But the next morning, Randall said she decided to unblock Davison and says she has not blocked him or deleted any comments from him or any other person since that time.

Judge Cacheris, in a ruling today, stated that although Davison’s actions were "relatively inconsequential as a practical matter,” Randall’s action did in fact violate his First Amendment right to free speech.

“The court holds only that under the specific circumstances presented here, [the] defendant violated the First Amendment by engaging in viewpoint discrimination and banning plaintiff from a digital forum for criticizing her colleagues in the county government,” the ruling states.

A central question in the suit was whether the chairwoman’s “Chair Phyllis J. Randall” Facebook page was her official county government profile. Davison maintains it is.

In his ruling, Judge Cacheris said that Randall’s Facebook page in question operates as a “forum for speech” under the First Amendment to the U.S. and Virginia constitutions.

However, Cacheris ruled that Randall did not violate Davison’s due process rights under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and would not be subject to Davison’s request for injunctive relief.

“A federal court has once again confirmed that speech is one of our most cherished rights under the Constitution,” Davison said in a statement to the Times-Mirror following the ruling. “ … Our elected officials cannot open up official communication channels for propaganda and praise and then ban their critics. Randall is the first Loudoun official to be rebuked for violating citizen's civil rights but definitely will not be the last.”

In a prepared statement, Randall said despite Judge Cacheris’ ruling, it does not give people the right to smear elected officials on social media.

“I value our right to free speech and I have fought to defend that right,” Randall said. “The court’s decision, however, does not mean that people should make disparaging, untrue, or slanderous remarks about elected officials or their family members on social media. The court’s decision states that we may moderate comments on these public forums in accordance with established policies to preserve social media as a meaningful place to exchange ideas in a respectful and civil manner.”

Davison’s lawsuit was filed after comments he made last July on the Loudoun County Government Facebook page disappeared.

In May, his claims regarding the government’s page were dismissed by the court after Facebook confirmed that the county was not responsible for removing Davison’s comments and that it had been Facebook software that caused his comments to be erased.

In March Judge Cacheris ruled Plowman did not violate the First Amendment by deleting Davison’s Facebook posts. However, Davison has since filed a motion to appeal that decision.


Update: a federal judge in my school board case has just dismissed it (res judicata, sovereign immunity and qualified immunity).  An appeal will be filed if not today then in the coming days.

Callme, you can be subject to big sanctions for filing a frivolous case making false allegations against a private party.  Any person who sues me for defamation will be subject to a counter claim for frivolous/false claims.  In order to collect, you must be willing to subject yourself to that liability.  If you feel confident you (or anybody else) have a defamation claim, go for it and I will contribute $500.  Then, I will counter the bejeezus out of you. The offer stands.

Hey SGP, you never said anything about a defamation suit and you most certainly did not say anything about winning a case or even having a valid case.  All you said was that you would pay someone $500 to sue you. Please read what you originally posted and you will see that once again I am absolutely correct.

Once again, you are changing the story on the fly to meet your current rant.  This is what I have been trying to call out for a while now.  You are not acting in the best interest of the community, you are only acting for you own benefit.  You do not do anything for the public good, only for what gains you notoriety.  You are not a champion on Loudoun Families, you are anti anything community related.

Why would Ms. Randall stand by the county attorney when he was charged with assault or spousal abuse or something similar?  Doesn’t that go against everything she supposedly stands for?  And now this, probably more bad legal advice to deny another FOIA request.  I am not impressed with how our tax dollars are spent.  Bad lawyering and a real embarrassment that has created sensational case precedent.  SGP is right about that too.

guess we all could use some “psyche classes” -
for the soul or conscience of the country

google “psyche classes” - harvard doc talks about habitual liars, consequences of telling lies all the time, touches on how not to raise your children & discusses the dangers of creating hypothetical worlds in your mind

westLOUDOUNer, fair question.

One cannot present any hearsay evidence.  Thus, I cannot admit any social media posts that are not corroborated by a witness.  Part of the school board’s story is that none of my allegations are true, that nobody everyone ignores my comments on whatever channel I use, and that they are simply blocking “uncivil” participants that nobody wants to hear from.

The school board uses their social media pages for quasi-town halls (Rose has made this claim during school board meetings that are recorded).  When they have discussions on school policies only on their social media pages and not on any other forum, but then block their critics, that demonstrates viewpoint discrimination to control the message. 

Now, the school board could legally only post selected questions they receive via email.  That is what is known as “government speech”.  They can pick what they want to say.  However, what they cannot do is open a public forum for all to participate and then block critics.  That’s why Randall was found liable.

My case is clearly not dependent upon commenters testifying, but it certainly helps.  And the fact that many folks are afraid to post critical comments under their real name on Facebook (Facebook verifies your identity) for fear of retaliation by the school board is also a factor.  We saw that with the Dominion high school scandal where some critics were afraid of retribution from Dominion officials (and of no support by the LCPS administration).

Note that Callme has demonstrated yet again the inability of so many LCPS teachers to comprehend the written word.  In order for somebody to file a defamation suit, Callme, they must allege that something I said was knowingly false.  You can’t name a single thing.  If you file a false claim, then you open yourself up for court fees to be awarded against you.  I will give you the first $500 to start the case but you better be ready to pay a whole lot of $$$ for that mistake. 

The whole point is that everything I say is true.  Or if I make a small mistake, I quickly acknowledge it.  Meanwhile, LCPS officials have committed fraud, perjury, violated multiple violations of federal law and viewpoint discrimination/retaliation.  If you feel I inaccurately defamed somebody, go for it.  But I have repeatedly stated Byard and the LCPS laywers defrauded the court and committed perjury.  Despite noting that Virginia has strong anti-defamation laws, I haven’t heard a peep from a single one of them.

I realize this is long but hope LTM will print this comment as I thought this might be a good time to recap the corruption/censorship of our LoCo officials:

Sep-2014: After asking for value-added data from LCPS, I learned Supt Williams and LCSB (lead by Chair Hornberger) had defrauded the US Dept of Education for years.  LCPS/YCPS certified they were using SGP data to receive $Ms in Title II funds while never even downloading the data both in Loudoun and in Williams prior district of York Co.  That’s fraud.

Oct-Dec-2014: With the help of an attorney friend, we filed a FOIA case and won a memo opinion in Jan 2015 directing the release of 5M+ SGP/SOL records.

Jan-Mar-2014: After the LCSB refused to even talk with me about SGP, I went public with their fraud and was attacked repeatedly by the Loudoun Education Assoc (union) attack dogs.  They made defamatory statements about me and my family (which I will not repeat here).  I pitied most of them (like RDJ) so I focused on the education issues and chose not to sue.  LCPS repeatedly refused to provide responses to my FOIA requests and attempted to block me from speaking during public comments period.  Hornberger was the first to ban me from his FB page in Feb 2016 after I pointed out he was violating NCLB.

Apr-Jun-2015: After accumulating multiple LCPS FOIA violations, I filed suit in Loudoun court.  Supt Williams perjured himself on the stand by claiming he had no idea his denier-in-chief Wayde Byard had refused to provide me an briefing showing that LCPS students underperformed their peers and were much less likely to believe their teachers cared about their “well-being”. (PISA exams)  Byard and high-ranking LCPS officials who had authored that brief had repeatedly denied it even existed.  Judge Jeanette “the jury trial queen” Irby ruled that FOIA rules essentially don’t apply to Loudoun officials.  During the Jun 2016 hearing on whether LCPS would get additional months to reply to the remaining FOIA requests, Byard perjured himself on the stand with the knowledge of LCPS counsel DeVita and outside attorney Judkins.  Internal emails which LCPS acknowledged but refused to disclose will confirm both Williams and Byard’s perjury.

Sep-Oct-2015: Knowing LCA Plowman would not even investigate the perjury charge against Byard or the conflict of interest charge against Hornberger for failing to disclose he worked for a billionaire charter school magnate seeking to enter the Loudoun market, I pursued the charges myself and/or enlisted the help of the state police.  I specifically asked for a special prosecutor knowing Plowman would protect LoCo officials.  The state police interviewed me for 90 minutes and asked Plowman to review a “well-documented” perjury complaint that was “legitimate”.  I continued to speak out against LCPS for violating multiple federal laws including NCLB, FERPA (student privacy) and conflicts of interest.  LCSB would retaliate by banning me from my kids school (including open PTA meetings) with no prior notice and a sham of an “appeal” process.  By this point, at least 5 LCSB members had permanently blocked me from their FB pages.  LCPS also turned off all comments on their FB pages after I caught them illegally deleting my critical comments.  Comments would be restored only after the Nov-2015 election.

Dec-2015: Plowman refused to have his office seriously investigate the perjury charge against Byard.  Since Plowman had just posted a paternalistic FB article on special prosecutors after blowback from his decision to appoint special prosecutors against his rivals York and Chapman two months prior to the election, I commented on his FB post pointing out he should have appointed one in my felony perjury complaint.  Plowman deleted the comment and permanently blocked me.  He refused to respond to any of my appeal emails explaining his decision or rescind the ban when contacted by my attorney.

Feb-May-2016: After extensively researching civil rights law following the retaliatory ban from my kids school in Oct, I filed free speech/equal protection lawsuits against Plowman (Feb-2016 : 1:16-CV-180) and most of the school board members (May 2016 : 1:16-CV-540).  Randall refused to answer my town hall question on LCSB ethics in Feb-2016 and temporarily blocked me on her FB page but I did not file any lawsuit against her at this time.

Jul-2016: Multiple BOS members violate FOIA at a Land Use meeting by texting with remote Supervisors (first addressed by Delegae Minchew).  LoCo put out a statement they did nothing wrong.  When I cricitally commented on the LoCo FB page, several of my comments immediately disappeared.  I immediately filed another 1983 case the next day for the deletion of the comments AND a state law FOIA claim for the unauthorized texting during the Land Use meeting (1:16-CV-932).  Also, my kids’ school principal who helped ban me was demoted to a 150-student school and the new principal welcomed me with open arms.

Sep-2016: LoCo’s motion to dismiss was denied but they insisted that their FB pages (both county and individual Supervisor) were not public and could discriminate against anyone.  This meant Randall could block me in the future.  I added a 1st Amd claim against her via an amended complaint (“unforced error” caused Randall to be infamous).  During this same month, a special prosecutor determined that I was correct in accusing multiple LCSB members of violating the Conflict of Interest Act by not disclosing their spouses worked for LCPS when voting on their raises.  No local newspapers reported on this COIA violation.  This ethical violation was at the heart of my question to Randall in the Feb 2016 town hall.

Dec-2016: After having my state court appeals dismissed in the LCPS no-trespass order, the federal court heard arguments on LCSB’s motion to dismiss in my school boad case (#540).  After nearly 8 months, the court still has not ruled.  This is very unusual.

Mar-2016: After a trial on the merits (#180), the court ruled that my comment on Plowman’s article on special prosecutors in which I specifically mentioned both special prosecutors and Plowman’s recent decision to assign one to investigate sheriff Chapman was “off topic”.  The court also ruled Plowman did not have fair warning that indefinitely banning someone from a public forum because of a couple supposedly “off topic” comments was unconstitutional.  The Plowman case in under appeal.  After I subpoenaed Facebook in the LoCo/Randall case (#932), FB noted it modified its software so that users could no longer gang up and suppress an individual’s comments.  Being the cause of my comments disappearing, the main claim in the LoCo case was dropped.

May-Jul-2016: A trial on the merits was held in the only remaining count against LoCo/Randall (#932).  Last week, the court ruled Randall had violated my 1st Amd speech rights and was disingenous in stating her “Chair Phyllis J. Randall” page was purely private.  The next day, LCSB member Debbie Rose changed the name of her Facebook page to “Debbie Rose - Education” from “...School Board” hoping to continue to block constituent speech.  Rose has also publicly described her page as a “school board Facebook page” used for constituent feedback.  In response to a new FOIA request, LoCo/Randall also refused to provide Randall’s commnents on an LTM FB page in which she used her private FB profile to give official answers on her votes.  I plan to file a FOIA suit in Loudoun in the coming days.

These are the folks that are “leading” our county government.  Some draining of this swamp is in order.  Highlighting this rampant corruption is my “One to the *#$&#$ *#$&#* World” project.  Some might say we have garnered an audience outside our immediate community.

VAsgp - Just curious, but what would LowesIsland11 be the basis for testifying?

Is that a promise, SGP?  I’ll sue you if you will pay me $500.  In fact, why don’t you sue yourself for me and pay me the fee.  That way I don’t have to do anything for pay any court costs.  Or, are you not willing to back up this offer?

so tRump twitter blocks likely to be ruled illegal?

For the record, I have a standing offer that I will contribute $500 to anyone who sues me for defamation. They will lose but I welcome any takers.

BOS should give her the Delgaudio treatment and take away all Randall’s staff money which is over $100,000 per year

SGP, thanks for responding to me. I don’t think your comments were over the line and, if I refer back to the psyche class I took in college, clearly Supervisor Randall reacted so negatively to your questions because you touched a nerve. Randall knows what people like Hornberger are doing is a clear conflict of interest so by exposing him, and in turn the rest of the BOS for allowing it, you really got under her skin. Keep it up.

The plot thickens….

Randall sometimes takes to the social media accounts of others, including the LTM Facebook page, to push her views as Chair. She frequently does so using her own personal Facebook profile. After this court case, Randall completely blocked me from seeing her profile’s comments/posts.

Now that is not a free speech issue but it is a FOIA issue. Just like Hillary’s emails are not private just because they are on a private server, any records with communications related to public business is subject to Virginia FOIA laws.

So you guessed it, I FOIA’d Randall comments on the recent pay raise article. And….. in true Loudoun fashion, just yesterday, they informed me they would not be handing them over. So it looks like I will be filing another FOIA suit in LoCo after all. Note that a variant of this issue was raised in my federal case against LoCo and will probably arise on appeal.

Finally, if LoCo and Randall are willing to do this to me, you better believe they are doing it to others. In fact, Meredith Amonson was blocked on the county Facebook page for months. They finally unblocked her after I jumped in with emails only because they knew I would sue. If they can suppress your speech and get away with it, they will. The reason we need these cases is to help those who don’t have the means to defend themselves from such discrimination.

Brian, congrats but be careful…you just called Randall a “congenital liar” in print…I’m guessing her attorney is paying attention…it certainly jumped out at me.

LowesIsland11, thank you very much for the support.

Btw, would you like to testify in my case against the school board?

The only reason I look at this news paper is to read what V SGP says. I love it, usually spot on every time. Keep it up and thanks for everything you do.

I count myself among those who are not okay with being censored by government officials.  Congrats on the ruling and the precedent setting.  This ‘minor’ issue will no doubt influence further rulings down the road. 

I’d also like to add how funny it is that people on the Internet still comment about other people on the Internet having too much time on their hands and being ‘loosers’.  I’m going to assume that this is an advance form of humor that I simply don’t get.  Bottom line is that Brian has had more influence on his community and those around him than any of these rock hurlers ever will.  SAD! 

Delgaudio and Black banned me from their social media platforms.  Guess this decision provides me leverage…nah, nevermind, I am no longer interested.

For those commenting on my time, maybe I just work more efficiently than you do. Or am willing to get by on 4 hrs sleep.

Note that nearly all of this effort occurred back in 2015 when the school board was taking steps to retaliate.  I had to research the case law BEFORE I filed the case to ensure I could win.  The last 18 months, and in particular the last six, have been much less involved as it’s just a matter of pinning the Loudoun crooks down every month or two.  All the notes and case law was found in 2015.

And I’m an engineer by trade.  I don’t pretend to write works of art as my briefings.  I set a deadline (maybe 2-3 days), take the case law and just write.  The 80% solution works well enough especially for pro se’s.  The biggest thing I learned is that law is not rocket science.  It’s basically pure logic.  That’s the same that software programmers do every day but I would assert we are more precise than politicians (who write laws) because a disinterested machine will interpret exactly what we write.  The fact that all of the law “lessons” can be found in the case law written by judges means that any enterprising person can do what I did if they are willing to learn.

“Can’t believe this is what America has come to.”

You can’t believe America has come to not standing for government censoring speech that speaks out against it?

Well I can’t believe you don’t understand this is what America has always been?
And who cares how much time he has on his hands? I for one am grateful he chooses to use that time to benefit each and every person within the jurisdiction of the United States. It’s a good thing there are people out there willing to devote as much time, energy, and money fighting for our inalienable rights. This isn’t only to benefit himself, it also benefits those who don’t understand the basic principles of behind freedom of speech.

If I’m reading this ruling correctly, the Court has reaffirmed Mr. Davison’s right to make a fool of himself in public. 

By the way, does that SGP stand for “Still Gonna Pontificate”

I’m afraid to comment.  Virginia SGP might sue me—or this paper!

John M, let’s have the people decide whether my comments were over the line.

Four of our 9 LCPS school board members had spouses who received raises voted on by the LCSB.  A special prosecutor determined in 2016 that failing to disclose that conflict when LCSB voted for teacher raises violates the Virginia Conflict of Interest Act.

In the Feb 2016 town hall that drew Randall’s ire, I simply asked her whether the LCSB should enact an ethics pledge similar to what she campaigned on and the BOS had just passed.  That would have encouraged those 4 members to disclose such conflicts (to this day the LCSB refuses to enact an ethics pledge or even discuss it).  At the meeting, Randall refused to answer that simple question, called it a “set up question”, and then rebuked me for bringing it up.

Later that night, Randall posted images of the town hall event on her Facebook page.  In the comments section, I noted she refused to answer my question despite LCSB Chair Eric HOrnberger working for a charter school billionaire trying to bring charters to Loudoun while not disclosing that conflict.  I also mentioned that school board members were violating the law by not disclosing their spouses work for LCPS when approving raises for those very spouses.

Apparently, the fact that I mentioned school board member spouses in the context of violating the Conflict of Interest Act means I stepped “over the line”.  Of course Randall doesn’t really believe any of that.  But when she says I mentioned “spouses” in a comment, some in the public will assume I smeared the spouses and take Randall’s side.  She also tried to dodge and weave in court.  She also deleted the comments in violation of FOIA (Records Retention Act) so nobody can demonstrate what the actual comment was.  Funny how Randall could supposedly remember what I posted in Feb 2016 during the May 2017 trial but then had no recollection whatsoever of telling citizens to ask questions related to public business on her “county Facebook page” in the summer and fall of 2016.  Those exhibits demonstrated to the court Randall’s claim that the page was “private” was simply posturing to avoid accountability.  I introduced over 100 exhibits to show Randall used that page to communicate official business and kept her political rants against Trump on her other (truly private) Facebook pages.

Randall, just like so many LCPS officials tied up in court, are congenital liars.  They will say anything, including committing perjury under oath, to avoid accountability.  Randall is actually being used by her attorney who represents 5 members of the LCSB who continue to block me to this day.  When I filed this case in July 2016, I didn’t base it on Randall’s block in Feb 2016.  I only added that count in Sep 2016 AFTER her attorneys claimed in court briefings that any Loudoun official (obviously to include the 5 LCSB members they were representing in my larger case against the schools) could block anyone for any reason.  That assertion meant that Randall might block me again in the future and allowed me to add the claim against Randall (no longer “moot” but “ripe” for adjudication).  Thus, Randall’s place in history as a precedent-setting case was cemented by her ignorance.

And folks, the reason why I pushed on some of these admittedly minor social media blocks is that I was fully aware it would set precedent.  Someone had to bring the case and there’s not any money to be made in bringing these free speech cases.  Only when the ACLU steps in are they typically litigated.  I had learned that this isn’t rocket science and decided to do it myself.  Plowman is lucky that he got a favorable ruling (will likely be overturned on my appeal) and wasn’t the guinea pig.  But both Plowman and the school board members have their day in court coming.

Brian Davison must have a lot of time on his hands. Maybe he needs to get a life or a new life.  Can’t believe this is what AAmerica has come to.

SGP- The statement released by the BOS states that you made negative remarks about BOS members and their families? Is that true? I ask because I never look at their FB pages and see any remarks- I’m not sure I want to, but going after family members would be over the line in my opinion.

Also, if “CallMe” is a teacher that is scary as he or she does not even know the difference between “loose” and “lose”. Let me help you Dante: Loose means not tight. Lose means to not win or misplace.
Finally SGP, I don’t know what you do for a living but I don’t know how you find the time to live on these message boards and courtrooms. Wow!

Wait now I hate to give Brain any credit, but, if you read the opinion and it does not get overturned, it is a significant First Amendment case with regard to social media, the public and access.  Politician will now have to think about their public face on social media and where they can throw you out a room for trespass when they are out taking bribes, errr campaign contributions, social media will be more difficult to cut off critics.  I think he tripped over a legal twig and stumbled into a precedential log cabin, but, I think this decision will be significant.

I love how SGP seems to feel entitled to national attention.  He needs attention to thrive, and he’ll bully people into understandably wanting to moderate his drivel so that he can pretend to be a victim, all the while victimizing everyone else he targets and runs roughshod over. I wouldn’t be surprised if this court didn’t have evidence presented to it of the abusive pattern of SGP’s online behavior, undermining the contention that he’s just expressing “an opposing viewpoint.”

Thank you SGP.  You certainly deserve tremendous credit for protecting our rights!  I suspect other public officials will be duly warned:

“Randall violated Davison’s First Amendment right under the U.S. and Virginia constitutions.”

Randall puts the “D” in discrimination.

@ Dante_Callme, no he did not loose, he did not get everything he asked for in the pleading, but he certainly did not loose.

Callme’s comments demonstrate why parents of LCPS students should be scared. He can’t understand that when a court says it rules “in favor of” the plaintiff, that means the plaintiff won. And can recover fees.  Lord help our students in his classes.

Don’t worry, Callme, your heroes Rose, Hornberger and Maloney are next.

One more thing. Why hasn’t those other Loudoun newspapers even mentioned a case that has relevance for other national cases?  LTM’S articles on the case have been accurate which is all one should want.

I spoke with a WSJ reporter this morning gathering information on the case since it will likely play into existing lawsuits against Trump. Funny how the case is interesting to a national paper but not LTM’S rivals, eh?

And when the Trump case gets attention, noted Loudoun Hypocrats Callme, Moving Finger, Hoya and others will reverse their position and decry viewpoint discrimination by govt officials.

SGP - you lost - the judge ruled that the 8 hours your were not able to post your drivel amounts to nothing at all.  For months, you have had access to FB and the ability to trash all you want.  In fact, you have never stopped trashing people who do not worship you.  You attack against the country and the unnecessary expense you causes is not a positive attribute for you.

Can you believe what is coming out this @Loudoun4Trump’s mouth of key board.  Not good when a public official violates someone’s First Amendment rights and he support 45’s foolishness.

If you can’t take the heat, don’t be a politician.

At least we know Callme, a “teacher” in LCPS, cannot understand the written word.

1. I did not ask for any monetary damages so how could I be prevented from “profit[ting]”.

2. I will recover my minimal fees (filing fee, printing costs) based on the judgment in my favor.

The county is lucky I did not choose to be presented by counsel or there would be $10K’s in fees due.  The county is out $10K’s for their legal representation, the same representation that CAUSED the Randall claim to be added after she claimed BOS members could ban anybody, anytime from Facebook for no reason whatsoever.  Until this ruling, Randall and every single BOS member took that position.

Sockpuppet4Trump, you can try to turn the Loudoun Trolllll (lots of Ls there) into Nelson Mandela, but the bottom line is that he got his fee-fees hurt after he was banned from someone’s Facebook account for a few hours. Talk about a snowflake.

I will never stop laughing when at his mounting losses.  This is a person who just this past week on this forum accused a veteran of having never served (what has HE ever done, other than criticize? What arena has HE entered? What classroom has he led?) and went to bat for maintaining statues of racists who started a war that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans so they could keep humans in chains. 

So yeah - as far as I’m concerned, it is the height of irony that this…person…has the gall to cry about his rights being infringed upon because of something that happened on social media while at the same time defending his precious graven images of traitorous slaveholders.

Let’s review what happened.

Claim 1: Comments from “Virginia SGP” mysteriously disappeared on the LoCo Gov’t Facebook page under the post about how there were no FOIA violations during the July 2016 Land Use Committee meeting.  In that meeting, Supervisors had illegally texted remote Supervisors without following the proper electronic meeting procedures (nobody knew they were texting each other).

Result: After I subpoenaed Facebook, FB effectively admitted that their software allowed activists to gang up and mark certain posters as “spam”, thus deleting the comments from the FB page and effectively preventing the targeted users from posting at all.  As a result of my subpoena, Facebook corrected their algorith so comments couldn’t be arbitrarily blocked.  I then dropped this claim.  Loudoun didn’t lift a finger to try to find out why citizens were blocked from posting on its FB page.

Claim 2: A state FOIA claim based on the illegal texting by Supervisors in the July 2016 Land Use meeting. 

Result: The court ruled that the claim had “merit” but ultimately decided to exercise discretion and not consider a state law claim in federal court.

Claim 3: I added the final claim against Randall blocking me on her Chair Phyllis J Randall Facebook page only after she and the BOS asserted in legal pleadings they could block anyone (including you) at any time.  Throughout the entire case, LoCo wouldn’t back down.  I even had a chat with their counsel and Leo Rogers before one of the hearings.  Rogers laughed, said my claim was frivolous, and claimed he would make me pay the costs of LoCo in defending the case.

Result: The judge ruled that Randall’s block “violate[d] Plaintiff’s right of free speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, § 12 of the Constitution of Virginia” and issued a declaratory judgment (i.e. warning) that “Defendant’s ‘Chair Phyllis J. Randall’ Facebook page operates as a forum for speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, § 12 of the Virginia Constitution”.  Not only did Rogers and Randall waste $10K’s in fees, but I will recover my minimal costs from them.

What does this all mean?  Government officials can’t put out propaganda and then ban their critics on official channels a la Vladimir Putin.  It also means that the 4 school board members who continue to block me on their Facebook pages to this day are almost certainly violating the US Constitution and refuse to back down until ordered to do so by a federal court. 

It also means that NONE of the BOS had the legal understanding (here’s looking at you Umstattd - is that Yale law degree worth the paper it’s printed on?) to back down during this year-long case.

Why exactly do we have a “county attorney” when he has no clue what the Constitution actually means?  I specifically recall asking Rogers to place a bet on the outcome of this case.  He wouldn’t risk a single dime of his own money but he wasted $10K’s of your taxpayer funds (they spare no expense to prevent admitting fault) in their futile attempt.

This is not just a rebuke of Randall or the school board’s actions.  The BOS implicitly approved of their legal briefings and wasted your tax dollars.  They should be held accountable.

I will post the opinion on the article on LTM’s Facebook page.

SGP looses again!!!  Yes, he gets to say what he wants but no, he does not get to profit from being rude online.  The families of Loudoun triumph!

Not good when a public official violates someone’s 1st amendment rights…not sure why that is so funny Homer?  “...yet Randall violated Davison’s First Amendment right under the U.S. and Virginia constitutions in doing so, U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris has ruled in a complex case about free speech in the digital age”....does she get censured for this from the BoS or is it just whatever to the person who had their 1st amendment rights violated by a public official that “engaged in viewpoint discrimination and banning plaintiff from a digital forum….”  not a good move for Randall.

“...Cacheris ruled that Randall did not violate Davison’s due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions and would not be subject to Davison’s request for injunctive relief.”

This guy put the “L” in LOL

Post a comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments express only the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or any associated person or entity. Any user who believes a message is objectionable can contact us at ltmeditor@loudountimes.com.

More News

The Loudoun Times-Mirror

is an interactive, digital replica
of the printed newspaper.
Click here for all e-editions.