Apparently a settlement is in the works for the case brought against the City when they attempted to redefine a family.

ACTION ITEM: Consideration of Resolution #R-2009-38 as Full and Final Settlement Agreement and Release of the Equal Rights Center, Et Al. v. City of Manassas and City of Manassas Public Schools and City of Manassas School Board, Case No. 07 CV 1037 – TSE/TRJ before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. (Staff: Lawrence D. Hughes, City Manager.

74 Thoughts to “Settlement on the Horizon?”

  1. Former COM employee

    Alanna, that is my point, did you not read anything I wrote. Many jurisdictions have limits on the number of unrelated people who can live in a single family house. This was ruled legal by the US Supreme Court. The City Council felt as if the current laws did not do enough so they wanted more done so they approved this asinine ordinance to get more unrelated people out of houses that under the previous ordinance would not of had a violation. Since the occupancy limit can not be set by local ordinance they figured we could get more people out of residences by this new family definition. In addition, not one family member was forced to be moved out during the short time the ordinance was in effect. So that is my reasoning in saying that no one was hurt during the time the ordinance was in effect.

  2. Marie

    Former COM
    I know who you are. I was in more than public meetings and you where you were present in some of those meetings. My knowledge of the subject is more than hearsay or rumor.
    Last I have to say on the matter.

  3. Former COM employee

    And Marie, how many inspections were you on? none, so watch what you say about me in a public forum or you might find yourself on the other side of a lawsuit for slander. Again, you know nothing about how the inspections were done.

  4. Elena

    Former COM,

    Exactly what has Marie said that would justify a lawsuit for slander? Additionally, you are going by fictitious name COM! Wow, talk about mis-sing the law.

  5. Elena

    Once again Slowpoke, you exemplify why people like me call this issue steeped in racism and prejudice, thanks for reaffirming.

  6. Former COM employee

    Elena, I am easily found and marie has on more than one occassion stated that either I or one of the assistants that worked with me mistreated the citizens of Manassas. Slander, I don’t know, but it might be worth a try if the accusations continue. I went through a lot for the City of Manassas and I did my job well and to have someone come on here and make unfounded accusations that reflect on me will absolutely not be tolerated by me. I was against this ordinance, but not against the concept of the program before the ordinance change, so I did everything in my power to see it was a fair program. Marie still has not come on here and cited one case where I am supposed to have mistreated anyone.

  7. Marie

    Former Com
    I have said nothing about you in a public forum that is slanderous. No one on this blog knows your identity. All I said was I know who you are. Did I give your name? NO. So, unless you disclose your name no one on this blog knows who you are. I see that you have posted on BVBL and are using the same moniker. So, I suppose no one there knows your identity either.

    Good night! Sorry, this issue had to be brought up by Greg L and open old wounds. Greg does what he can provoke people. Too bad his spin is always negative.

  8. Former COM employee

    Marie, you may be right, but why don’t you admit that you know nothing about how the inspections were done and that you have absolutely no idea how I treated the citizens of Manassas. In addition, again, I am easily found and all the legal stuff would be for a court to decide if you choose to continue to slander me (my opinion and we all know what opinions are like). I originally came on this sight to offer a perspective on how the program worked and to show that there is more that could be done and then you start with the big bad government official harrassed and intimidated the citizens of Manassas. Have a nice night.

  9. Marie

    Former COM
    I am not attacking you or the job you had to do. All along my beef has been with the way the City implemented the resolution.

    I went back over my posts and I think this is what I said.

    “KathyZ-There is a lot of information regarding this issue. You can google it and read it for yourself-all the sordid details of how some families were treated.”
    I was referring to the information on the internet, in the WaPo and Journal Messenger. There were many reports in the newspaper and statements from those who had undergone inspections. The reports were not very favorable to the City. You got caught in the middle as I stated in one of my posts.

    “As for the way inspections were handled, I know first hand of several incidents that could have been handled better. I think there were many errors made and I think there was testimony to that fact which was backed up.”
    The City should have never set up a “overcrowding hotline” for anonymous complaints. Inspections were done based solely on anonymous calls. Not a good idea. Not your fault just not the best way to handle the issue.

    “I never heard of one call being made about an overcrowded situation involving occupants that were Caucasian , Black, Asian or any other ethnicity. To my knowledge all the anonymous calls that were called into the hotline were against Hispanics. Maybe Former COM will have the stats since he was involved in the inspection process.”
    Read the first sentence to see what I said-I never heard……. I believe I made reference that you would know the stats and you could provide them.

    I see nothing that slanders you.

    Well…I am really signing off now. You have a nice night, too.

  10. SecondAlamo

    Former COM,

    It is frustrating when you try to engage in discussion on a defined subject, and it goes off the edge as the standard blind allegiance to those in the country illegally kicks in. Your description of the events is interesting and comes from first hand knowledge unlike the hear say that support most comments. Why people never honestly state their level of knowledge on a subject is beyond me. We all are guilty of quoting hear say, but when you know something to be absolutely true, and someone casually dismisses the information as rhetoric or bias, then it really gets to the point where you feel you’re wasting your time. Simple facts that if most overcrowding was being done by Hispanics, then obviously the majority of calls would involve Hispanics, but some try to turn harmless statistics into solid evidence of racial bias. It happens all the time. Example: The majority of people in prison are either black or Hispanic, so therefore we must be applying the laws unfairly. Never mind that they commit crimes to a higher degree. Same supportive argument. Keep it up though. I’d rather read fact over fiction. Fiction I can get from the political debates!

  11. Former COM employee,

    I was enjoying learning from your insider’s perspective until you started up with the threats of lawsuits.

    We must never shrink from criticizing our public employees. Your lawsuit threats suggest that you are not be suitable to assume public trust.

    Yes, I’m slandering you. Now sue me.


    Lethal weapons should only be deployed in situations where lethal danger is present.

    How do we allow this to happen? What is wrong with us that we accept this situation? We pay our taxes at the point of a gun, so that the muscle hired by our tax dollars can toss grenades at us when we try to exercise our first amendment rights?

  13. SecondAlamo

    Calm down Mackie, now you’re starting to sound like a radical. No, we should employe an overpowering level of potential force such that the the situation doesn’t escalate, because the perp feels he or she has a fighting chance. How many times do people in cars try to outrun the police, because they think they may be able to get away?

  14. Segundo Alamo,

    How is it radical to say grenades and chemical weapons are wrong to use against people peacefully exercising their free speech?

    Individuals who engage in violence or destruction of property should definitely be arrested. But the point is that those individuals can be singled out and arrested.

    I would even support the use of weapons if the crowd was executing a mass attack upon the police. But that is not what was happening here.

  15. Workers stand up. And almost get beat down.

  16. Alanna

    Maybe I’ve missed something but we haven’t been talking about illegals during this topic thread. Secondly, Marie clearly stated she too is a former City of Manassas employee so I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss her.

  17. Moon-howler

    I feel dissed. We have white, black, hispanic and asian over-crowding in Prince William County.

  18. Republican Doofus Gets Taken for a Ride

    Robbery is wrong. But that doesn’t mean you can’t cheer for it.

  19. NotGregLetiecq

    New article about Duecaster in the Post. Duecaster posted as “Advocator” in the comments!

  20. IVAN

    You can also find this info on, complete with comments from Eric Byler and others.

  21. Former COM employee

    Mackie, I am sorry you feel that way. But I know that many of the people who post on this site and many who read this site know who I am. I really do not care that people know who I am, but I do care about my reputation. Since a reputation is really all a man has, i want to keep mine in good standing. Marie can try to spin it any way she wants, but her written words stand by themselves. I am no different than any other person, when you back them in a corner they come out fighting. My last words will be these on this subject, 1. the city council messed this up, they are the blame and no one else. 2. city employees did what they were told/forced to do. 3. the program was working fine before the council got to deply involved. 4. I put another idea on the table to solve the council’s problem with the program which was never presented to them. 5. my idea was to get other jurisdictions behind a statewide code modification on the occupancy limits of residential housing. 6. that idea would not have happened overnight and may not have ever happened, but we won’t know until someone tries. 7. when I say no one was ever hurt I mean no one ever had their constitutional rights violated while doing an inspection and no one ever lost any money because of the inspections. 8. finially and emphatically no one who ever did an overcrowding inspection from June 1, 2004, through may 19, 2008 ever mistreated a City of Manassas citizen. No matter what Marie may think she knows, she is dead wrong. Thanks to everyone for being open minded while I try to explain some of how this mess happened and let everyone know in my opinion, there are still options for what I consider a safety problem even with the current codes in place. I also enjoy listening to what other people have to say about this issue. And for the record, I don’t think anyone on either side of this situation has bad intentions and I myself do not have an answer only that I do believe the current situation is not working and will have to be solved on all levels of government.

  22. Mark Wolfe

    The folks that have posted before me have made many interesting points regarding the ERC settlement. Please allow me to explain the reasoning behind my vote.

    To me, this was ultimately a business decision to make. The choices were to settle now or to go into the deposition and ultimately trial phase of the case.

    By settling now, we secured the backing of our insurance company who is paying the entire settlement cost and the bulk of our attorney’s fees. The actual financial cost to the citizens is very small.

    By continuing the fight we ran the risk that our insurance carrier would cut bait on us. (They could actually agree to settle the case without approval from the City.) The cost in attorneys fees and staff time for the depositions and trial would be huge. At the end of the trial there would be the risk of a large damage award. And possibly most damaging is that if the other side prevailed in any one issue, the City would be liable for ALL of their attorney fees. That number alone would be in the millions. I could easily imagine a total cost to the City of over $5,000,000. And expense that would somehow have to be borne by the taxpayers.

    We might have won. But the odds (and all legal advice) suggested otherwise.

    I absolutely agree that there are times where it is vital to stand on principle (hence my vote on the BPL issue). I agree that a system where one part of the government provides funding to a special interest group to sue other parts of the government is flawed. But I could not ask the citizens of Manassas to run such a staggering financial risk to score debating points with the ERC, DOJ or HUD.

  23. Former COM employee

    Mr. Wolfe, all though not a City of Manassas resident, I used to keep up on the politics because of my past employment. I must say I had my reservations about you before, but your very well written explanation for the reason you voted the way you did is what should be expected of all honest and respectful polititions. The citizens of Manassas should be proud to have a council member such as you. If the past members had used good judgement and not acted on an issue as this just because of public outcry, the city might not be in the situation they are in now. I hope that in the future, council members while listening to citizens, will take very seriously the input from the professioanl staff you have employed and entrusted to run the city before making such important decisions in such a haste.

  24. Marie

    Mr. Wolfe,
    As a City Employee I commend you for making the correct decision regarding the ERC settlement.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Former COM.

    Thank you for the common sense reasoning.

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