Libel suit against Culpeper prosecutor to continue
BY DONNIE JOHNSTON / THE FREE LANCE–STAR
A judge today refused to dismiss a libel lawsuit filed by Culpeper Supervisor Bill Chase against the commonwealth’s attorney for the county.
Chase filed last year a $1.75 million suit against Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan Frederick over accusations she made in a September email.
That email endorsed Supervisors Bradley Rosenberger and Larry Aylor in their bid for re-election. In lauding their qualifications, she specifically referred to the board’s approval of a $1.5 million, new building for the sheriff’s offices in which Rosenberger and Aylor cast the only opposing votes.
“They lost this battle, due to incompetent and corrupt members of the Board,” Frederick wrote.
Chase, whose 32 years on the board is the longest tenure in county history, filed suit, claiming that Frederick’s comments “impute that Plaintiff is dishonest and lacks integrity in performing the duties of his office.”
The suit adds that the statements “were made by defendant at a time when she knew or should have known such statements were false and were made with a deliberate and reckless disregard for the truth.”
Frederick’s attorney, Elliot Park of Richmond, argued that the suit should be dismissed because she did not specifically name Chase in the email.
But substitute Judge J. Howe Brown of Fairfax rejected that argument today and allowed the case to proceed.