Candland letter Part 3: Is Reece Collins gone for good?
Don’t make plans for a going away party yet. Reece Collins might not be going anywhere. I never understood why he wasn’t grandfathered in, but I am not a lawyer.
Supervisor Pete Candland wants to know 3 things from County Attorney Angela Horan. Ms Horan might be on leave. However, here is the latest from insidenova.com: (bold mine)
Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland has sent a letter to Prince William County Attorney Angela Horan asking whether 11th hour amendments to the recent discretionary fund resolution passed last week by the Prince William Board of County Supervisors will result in an improper dismissal of Collins.
A last-second addition by Neabsco Supervisor John D. Jenkins would appear to prevent Collins – who also works for a political consulting firm – from working for Candland. However, state code Chapter 15.2, Section 1512.2 states “no locality shall prohibit an employee of the locality, including firefighters, emergency medical technicians or law-enforcement officers within its employment, or deputies, appointees and employees of local constitutional officers as defined in § 15.2-1600, from participating in political activities while these employees are off duty, out of uniform and not on the premises of their employment with the locality.”
In his letter to Horan, he asks three things: a formal opinion to the board stating that Jenkins’ additions regarding political consultants and vendors are not part of the county’s personnel policy and would be superseded by state code. He also asks that Collins’ termination process – which he states he began based on Horan’s previously issued opinion – be rescinded.
Finally, Candland states that if Horan doesn’t agree that Jenkins’ additions supersede state code, he would like to have a formal reason for her opinion and hints at a possible lawsuit for an “improper termination.” He also asks that she remove herself from any potential litigation given the fact that she “had determined they [amendments] were a legal action of the board.”
In a phone interview Monday, Candland said he exchanged emails with county executive Melissa Peacor regarding the matter. Candland said Peacor informed him that the issue would not be resolved until Horan returns to the office.
I am glad to see Candland’s tenacity on this issue. Neither he nor the public have really been given any reason for the board’s decision. I find that very troubling. When our BOCS acts like that, in essence, they have said SCREW YOU to the public. Apparently they don’t feel they owe us an explanation. I say, yes they do.
I support Pete Candland’s efforts to get to the bottom of this ill-begotten decision.