Hearing continued for supervisor’s ouster

Published 1:03 pm 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.