No place for racism, sexismPublished 6:53pm Saturday, October 19, 2013
To the editor:
As a former 12-year member of the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors, I would like to thank Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Susan Walton, chief investigator Neil Boone and all other staff members who looked after my county in the recent recall petition for Supervisor Buzz Bailey for his sexist, racist comments and emails.
Newport District citizens Joe Puglisi, Neal Johnson, Brenda Lee and others spearheaded the petition drive to remove this elected official.
Mr. Ferguson’s office exhibited great professionalism as it assumed the prosecution of this matter within the framework of a very narrow and limited statute.
The investigative brief by Mr. Ferguson and Ms. Walton was thorough and accurate as to its conclusions of law and facts, and even though the facts were not sufficient under the statute to remove Mr. Bailey, Mr. Ferguson prosecuted this matter to the fullest extent of the law.
The citizens’ efforts and Mr. Ferguson’s excellent prosecution sent the message that racism and gender denigration are not acceptable conduct by Virginia elected officials.