In brief: City departures, a random drawing and Coran’s cannabis (or lack thereof)

Former Police Chief Al Thomas is still collecting a paycheck. Photo by Eze Amos Former Police Chief Al Thomas is still collecting a paycheck. Photo by Eze Amos

City departures

Besides the abrupt retirement of former police chief Al Thomas, City Attorney Craig Brown will head out the door after 32 years for a new gig as Manassas’ first city attorney. In addition, Charlottesville’s spokesperson Miriam Dickler will sign off early next year, and Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman is filing his final briefs after six terms as the city’s prosecutor.

Another retirement

Virginia State Police Superintendent Steven Flaherty will leave the post he’s had for 14 years early next year, a move he says is unrelated to scathing reviews of state police August 12. Governor-elect Ralph Northam has named Lieutenant Colonel Gary Settle to succeed Flaherty February 1.

Random drawing

Virginia’s House of Delegates could see a 50-50 Democratic-Republican split—or not—following the December 19 recount of a Newport News race that put Dem Shelly Simonds up by one vote. The next day, Republican Delegate David Yancey picked up another vote to tie the race, and now the winner will be determined by drawing lots.

Quote of the Week:

“They put two names in, somebody shakes it up and they pull it. It’s that or it’s straws.” -State Board of Elections member Clara Belle Wheeler tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch how the winner in the tied race in the 94th District will be determined

Unpopular move

Albemarle County General District Court. Staff photo

Albemarle supes put a moratorium on discussions about moving county courts from downtown until March 2, but directed their consultant to continue exploring relocating the County Office Building and developing a performing arts and convention center in the county.

Shelling it out

The city will most likely be ordered to pay $7,600 in legal fees to attorney Pam Starsia, who represented Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy when white nationalist Jason Kessler unsuccessfully attempted to remove him from office in February. Starsia, who is a former Showing Up for Racial Justice organizer, told the Daily Progress she plans to donate the money to local anti-racism causes, though she has relocated to Texas.

Coran Capshaw. Photo by Ashley Twiggs

RLM disavows high-profile summit

On November 27, the Aspen High Summit website was touting music/development mogul Coran Capshaw of Red Light Management as a headliner for its invitation-only December 11-13 meeting of the minds for visionaries in the music and cannabis industries.

At least it was until a C-VILLE Weekly reporter called, and then Capshaw’s name abruptly disappeared from the Aspen High website.

The summit brings together the “Music Tribe and the Cannabis Tribe” to “finally consummate their long relationship,” according to the website, over hot toddies and “first class cannabis” in Colorado, where toking is legal.

The Arcview Group, a cannabis investment organization in Oakland that boasts more than 600 high net-worth investors who have pumped more than $140 million into 160 cannabis-related ventures and raised more than $3 million for the legalization effort, according to its website, sponsored the event.

Despite being billed as invitation only, the Aspen High website appeared to offer tickets to anyone who wanted to pony up $1,150.

In a rare response from Red Light Management, Ann Kingston writes in an email that Capshaw “was never attending this event. We called them due to your inquiry and they took down any reference to RLM.”

Correction December 28: Albemarle supervisors put a moratorium on court relocation until March 2, not March 1, but will continue to explore development of government offices and performing arts and convention centers in the county, but not the courts as originally reported.

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