Archived Story

Hearing continued for supervisor’s ouster

Published 1:03pm Friday, July 5, 2013

ISLE OF WIGHT—Friday’s hearing on a petition to have Newport District Supervisor Byron “Buzz” Bailey removed from the Board of Supervisors has been continued. Judge Carl Eason set the new hearing for 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 12, in Isle of Wight County Circuit Court.


Susan Walton, assistant Commonwealth Attorney in Suffolk, requested the continuance in order to subpoena more witnesses. She also said the prosecution “has the additional responsibility to disclose exculpatory evidence to Bailey’s attorney, H. Woodward Crook.”

Further, Walton said that Phil Ferguson, the Suffolk Commonwealth Attorney, wants to be present for the case.

“We would not oppose some additional time,” Crook said in reply. Afterward, he told The Tidewater News that he was as prepared as he could ever be for the case.

As there was no question about the validity of signatures on the petition, and both parties were in agreement, Eason granted the continuance.

Since May 16, people in Bailey’s domain have been calling for his resignation when he was revealed to have privately circulated emails containing crude humor to other board members and county staff. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are the subjects of several of those emails.

Herb DeGroft has also been repeatedly called on to step down for his part in circulating the aforementioned emails. The petition for his recall was filed last Tuesday. His hearing is set for 2 p.m. Monday, July 8, in Isle of Wight County Circuit Court.

Both men have often apologized if anyone was offended by the emails. The two insist they’ve done nothing illegal and won’t resign. DeGroft, however, recently announced that he changed his mind about running for reelection. His term ends this year; Bailey’s term lasts through 2015.

“Regardless of the outcome, it doesn’t change the situation of what he (Bailey) has said and done,” said Joe Puglisi. He and Brenda Lee have been co-captains in the collection of petition signatures for Bailey’s recall. They collected 301 signatures, and 238 were needed to quality for filing.

Rosa Holmes-Turner of Rushmere has been the team captain of the committee to recall DeGroft. She said 238 signatures were obtained, and only 205 were needed to quality for filing.

  • Makalani

    @Dakota01-RE:“For once I agree with you.” Only once? LOL
    Seriously! Thanx for your “racial courage.” I opened the door for some serious racial dialogue — you are the only one brave enough to enter.

    As a poster alluded to below — “… people are hyper sensitive to anything racial right now.”
    Why should “fully-growed” adults in an anonymous forum be hypersensitive talking about race?

    Many are not “hypersensitive” about expressing racial generalizations/being victims of a “double ‘racial slur’ standard” — dredging up inane-asinine-shopworn-tired-broken-record-racial-stereotypes-used-in-this-forum-ad nauseam-ad infinitum-“on-‘da-reglar-’ ” a-“gazillion”- times — OR MORE!

    RE: — *“If you want to call me a “cracker” please specify which kind;saltine,ritz,wheat,etc…” LOL

    Sorry! I make a conscious effort to not refer to people with racial slurs in my interpersonal interactions. Using racial slurs signifies ignorance/a small mind/vocabulary. My vocabulary/verbal arsenal/critical thinking abilities allow a more cerebral way of disrespecting people (I don’t claim to be a saint!) if a situation warrants name calling!

    Thanx for your “racial courage”/sharing!

    *PS: You can call me the N-Word! You will get a very reasoned — intelligent response!
    I have learned from whites to not let others use the power of words/racial slurs to demean/make one feel inferior.

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  • Makalani

    @workindamill — RE:“When Norfolk city councilman Paul Riddick called a white man a cracker during a city council meeting,…” You are indeed 10,000% correct.

    “Exhibit A:” — The Virginian-Pilot — © May 1, 2012
    “It’s nothing new for Riddick to lose his temper. In the heat of debate, Riddick sometimes says things for which he later apologizes, including calling a white member of the housing authority board a “cracker” during a closed meeting a few years ago.”

    RE: “Why is it that a person of color can get away with racial statements, but anyone else can’t????”
    Mr. Riddick’s Ward (4) includes the area around Norfolk Intl — Janaf Shopping Ctr –and Wards Corner. There are 1000s of whites residing in his Ward. Why they were not sufficiently up-in-arms over this slur to initiate a recall is anybody’s guess. But it is not because white people are timid shrinking violets as exhibited by the whites who had Mayor Holley recalled.

    My theory? Most white people are ‘waaaayy’ too smart to give Black people the power over them to make them go berserk by using a stupid racial slur — “cracker.“ Therefore — “cracker” never evolved into an explosive racial epithet like the “N-word.” Ditto with “redneck.” While offensive and repugnant — they are not highly toxic! If they were — they would be censored from this forum like the “N-word” (spelled out)!

    Once people — as a group — let the use of a stupid racial slur control their behaviors/“incite them to riot” — they are toast/are at a severe psychological disadvantage! There is a double standard in the use of racial slurs but because whites react smarter — it works to their advantage. lol

    Does this put the Riddick brouhaha over the use of “cracker” in a different light for you?

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    • Dakota01

      For once I agree with you. If you want to call me a “cracker” please specify which kind;saltine,ritz,wheat,etc…

      Suggest Removal

    • workingtodamill

      Not really Mak. I still feel that cracker, snowflake, white bread, and some others are just as racially stoked as the “n” word, but you are right, white people don’t get as up in arms about it. I wouldn’t whites are smarter about it, they just usually don’t want the confrontation. To me it just seems like a double standard that a black man can get away with something that was done in a public forum, yet the white persons was somewhat personal. Also it is a double standard that black people call each other said n word all day every da yet only find it offensive when someone from another race calls them that. Also Mayor Holley was recalled for abuse of power such as getting his secretary to do his personal business on city time, not because he was black.

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  • Makalani

    @Sedley Sam — RE: “1) The white race is weak and won’t organize/band together to make noise the way others do.”

    That sir — is your perspective — not the truth! Not calling you a liar — just saying you might have misspoke! lol This assertion is also a stereotype.
    As you know — stereotypes never stand up under scrutiny/to logic. To wit:

    The Virginian-Pilot — © July 14, 2010 — PORTSMOUTH
    “Residents overwhelmingly voted Mayor James Holley out of office Tuesday, approving his recall by a ratio of greater than 2-1 and making him the first known politician in U.S. history to be recalled twice.

    Robert Marcus, a resident who funded and helped organize the recall effort, said the margin sent an unmistakable message. “The people of the city of Portsmouth will not accept Mayor Holley’s behavior and recognize that it’s time for him to retire,” he said. “And they have retired him.”

    According to the Pilot — Mr. Marcus — Bill Moody Jr. — Mark Yatrofsky — Dolores Knight — all white — “organized/banded together — made noise” — raised the funds and spearheaded the recall effort.
    (The Virginian-Pilot © May 27, 2010)

    In case you don’t know — Mayor Holley was (deceased) Black.

    Do you need more examples of white people who “make noise — organize and band together” to the detriment of some Black politician? I will gladly GOOGLE and post them for you.

    RE: “2) We’re too busy working two jobs….)”
    Stereotypical/cockamamie/claptrap/nonsense — too far off topic.
    Another discussion for another day — another topic!

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  • Makalani

    A continuance in this case is a fair call at this point since “a rush to judgment” would not be fair to either side. The stakes in the outcome are very high for both sides.

    On the one hand — the reputation and standing in the community of an apparent — dedicated public servant is not to be taken lightly. Conversely — the concerns of the disgruntled taxpayers/citizens who have met all of the legal requirements relative to the recall/their dissatisfaction[s] cannot be taken lightly either.

    Probably the only certainty in this case will be the judge carefully — impartially considering/weighing all of the conflicting evidence both pro and con. Suffice to say — there probably are not many people in IOW who envy Judge Eason — the one who has to make the call.

    The legalities involved notwithstanding — a quote by Marcus Aurelius doesn’t make the judge’s job any easier: “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

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  • workingtodamill

    When Norfolk city councilman Paul Riddick called a white man a cracker during a city council meeting, no one called for him to step down and no petitions were made to run him out of office. Why is it that a person of color can get away with racial statements, but anyone else can’t????

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    • Sedley Sam

      Two reasons;

      1) The white race is weak and won’t organize/band together to make noise the way others do. We don’t feel entitled because of something that happened to our ancestors over 150 yrs. ago. We’d rather mumble under our breaths about it and then bow to the pressure.

      2) We’re too busy working two jobs and trying to earn our keep to have the time. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, ALL the grease! That grease comes out of our paychecks every week…in sums of 1/3 to 1/2 of what we earned.

      Suggest Removal

  • oglethorpewusup

    I know people are hyper sensitive to anything racial right now. I was hoping our President was going to work hard to bridge that racial divide, but he has done nothing but throw gas on the flames. What I have to say is way to long to print here. Bottom line, if you really want this man to step down because of exposed emails, then I would suggest that all staff members of this school system make ALL of their emails available to the public. I have a strong suspicion; we would all be surprised what we might uncover. We are all guilty of have a little fun at someone else’s expense. What he did was stupid and I don’t approve, but I think he’s learned his lesson and taught a few lessons to others as well. Let’s all just get over it and move on!

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    • BlindSquirrel

      Why single out the school system? Mr. Bailey is on the Board of Supervisors.

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