Yesterday, I joined the Jeff Katz show to discuss former governor Terry McAuliffe‘s and Richmond City Mayor Levar Stoney‘s roles in the rape allegations against Justin Fairfax, former Lt. Governor. I pointed out how they have failed repeatedly to uphold due process, a presumption of innocence until proof of guilt, a principle that is the very cornerstone of our legal system. Our discussion followed the recent revelation that the FBI is investigating a potential political motivation for the allegations of sexual assault against Fairfax in 2019, with a particular focus on the role of Stoney and the political network, which has longstanding ties to McAuliffe. This news was compounded by an unequivocal acknowledgment–issued by the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in open court last week–that there was “no evidence” of a mass shooting at Dogwood Dell on July 4th as proclaimed by Stoney and Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith.
I have made plain my feelings that McAuliffe, who called for Fairfax’s resignation, minutes after media broadcast, before the former lieutenant governor could even issue a response, acted improperly and without credible evidence in presuming Fairfax guilty. I have also made plain my concern for the failure of current city leadership to address the quality of life issues affecting Richmonders, like crime, education, housing, and healthcare.
The latest gimmick of falsifying “great investigative work” issued by Mayor Stoney and Chief Smith over a politically manufactured threat is simply sickening. While the mayor and his chief were craven enough to make national media appearances—appearances that stoked public fear in the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Highland Park — they are now invoking a Virginia Freedom of Information Act exemption which shields them from the very public they were sworn to protect.
The people are always ahead of the “leaders.” They showed that in the last statewide election; they will show that in others, state and local. All the people ask for is truth and transparency in leadership and the people will always speak truth to power.