Spotsy News and Information

2019 Local News

Chancellor Supervisor's Response to Courtland Football Field Scam Puts Politics Above Community

In this past Thursday’s Free Lance-Star, Chancellor Supervisor Tim McLaughlin authored a Letter to the Editor centered on the recent Courtland Football field scam involving $600,000 of County funds.

A few months ago, Mr. McLaughlin strongly advocated for Spotsylvania Public Safety officials to receive needed pay increases and to develop a pay scale to reduce compensation uncertainty. Several years ago, his opposition stopped Spotsylvania from entering into a poorly structured deal to build a baseball stadium with tax payer funding.

On this specific issue though, Mr. McLaughlin appears to be placing politics above his community. It’s difficult to believe Mr. McLaughlin would express such views if County Finance inadvertently fell victim to a “spoofing” scam – which regularly victimizes organizations and individuals across the globe. If we accept Mr. McLaughlin’s argument advanced in his letter to the editor at face value, we would have to hold him personally responsible if a similar issue arose under a Department that falls under the Board of Supervisors’ purview.

Politicians have been manipulating public sentiment for years now, not to best serve the community, but to further their own political interests. These acts have made communities more cynical about government and less likely to participate because officials too often place their interests above that of the community. By Mr. McLaughlin’s account, the Board of Supervisors was informed on August 1st of this issue. The Free Lance-Star published excerpts of Mr. McLaughlin letter to the editor on August 5th. This timeline indicates that Mr. McLaughlin’s first instinct was not to gather facts and information, but to draft a public letter of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that could serve only political ends. To be clear his letter did nothing to help the situation. It only presents him as a less credible person to fix any future problems or issues that are uncovered from the law enforcement investigation.

Every Spotsy resident should demand to know what occurred to the $600,000. People must be held accountable. Deliberate criminal acts must be separated from inadvertent mistakes. These are the sorts of guiding principles that have governed our country since its founding. Principles that Mr. McLaughlin would crave if a similar situation surrounded the Board of Supervisors in the future.

I suspect if this involved a Conservative-led School Board or Mr. McLaughlin was not running for reelection, he may not be so quick to rush to judgement on an open law enforcement investigation that involves local, state and federal officials. I suspect Mr. McLaughlin would plead for patience, advocate against rushing to judgment, and let the law enforcement do their jobs and find out exactly what occurred so the Board could hold those responsible. In this case, he did not do this. He chose a different path. A path that seeks to damage the credibility of our local institutions. Spotsy residents should ultimately ask themselves why? 

Click here to read Scott Shenk’s first Free Lance-Star article covering the Courtland field story.

Click here to read Scott Shenk’s second Free Lance-Star article covering the Courtland field story.

Click here to read Mr. McLaughlin’s Letter to the Free Lance-Star in full.

Photo Credit: Allen Schmidt - Free Lance-Star

Photo Credit: Allen Schmidt - Free Lance-Star

Todd RumpComment