Kathy Harris, a long-serving member of the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail Authority Board is leaving the Board just prior to a critical (re-)vote on the jail’s continuing cooperation with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Inquiries into the unexpected departure of Ms. Harris netted differing responses from city officials.

In a September 21 email, recently relieved City Council “Chief of Staff,” Paige Rice, attributed the abrupt departure to term expiration:

From: Rice, Paige <ricep@charlottesville.org>
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2018 5:10 PM
To: Rob Schilling
Subject: RE: Jail Board Opening

Hi Rob –

 Kathy Johnson Harris’s seat is up.  Her term is expired.

 All the best,

Paige Rice 
Council Chief of Staff | Clerk of Council
Charlottesville, Virginia

A subsequent inquiry to Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville’s Director of Communications, yielded a completely different answer:

From: FOIA <foia@charlottesville.org>
Subject: RE: Jail Board Opening
Date: Sep 26, 2018, at 12:47 PM
To: “Schilling, Rob”
Cc: “Murphy, Mike” <murphym@charlottesville.org>

Rob – It is my understanding Kathy Harris will be replaced before her current term expires. She is serving in her fourth term when Jail Board members are supposed to only serve up to three terms. The City’s documentation on the number of terms allowed was incorrect at the time of her last renewal. A new appointment will rectify that mistake.

BRIAN WHEELER
Director of Communications
City of Charlottesville
605 E. Main St.
Charlottesville, VA 22902

A recent announcement and public discussion of the unanticipated Board vacancy took place at the September 17 Charlottesville City Council meeting (see video below). There, Councilor Wes Bellamy—a vocal proponent of discontinuing ICE notification and a fellow Jail Board member—along with various citizens openly plotted to stack the Jail Board with an anti-ICE replacement for Harris and to move Charlottesville towards “Sanctuary City” status through legislative fiat.


 

At vote on ICE policy was anticipated at the September 13 Jail Board meeting; however, when it appeared proponents of notification had the votes to continue the policy, a vote was postponed following last-minute policy wrangling by Bellamy and Board Chair, Diantha McKeel (who has refused to state her position on notification).

Harris, a known supporter of continuing cooperation with ICE, had been the recipient of intense pressure and attempted intimidation by local cultural Marxist and anarchist groups.

6 COMMENTS

  1. 1. Rice and Wheeler’s explanations are complementary, not contradictory or completely different: Harris is being replaced because she has served her alloted time.

    2. The dictionary definition of “to plot” is to “secretly make plans to carry out (an illegal or harmful action).” There is no such thing as openly plotting to commit a legal act.

    3. The pertinent dictionary definition of “stack” is to “shuffle or arrange . . . dishonestly so as to gain an unfair advantage.” Political strategizing about how to carry out the will of the people as expressed in a free and fair election in no way fits the definition.

    Like taking candy from a baby.

  2. 1. Your comprehension level is low. Read it again.
    2. Your definition is only one of many. My use is correct.
    3. Prove this action is “the will of the people.” You can’t.

    Like reading Shakespeare to a newborn.

  3. Rob, Wes is Stacking the Deck Alright!
    Because; and I so hope; that one day
    He will be on the inside looking out!

  4. Wes is transparently playing politics which is par for the course. What puzzles me is why is he such a supporter of sanctuary cities and illegal immigration? From my perspective as a supporter of blue collar workers, a community of undocumented illegals actually hurts blacks and whites alike that are seeking jobs in construction, maintenance, and other such trades. I would think he would discourage competition from anyone willing to offer their services at below market rates.

  5. Ending ICE notifications is the brainchild of Wes Bellamy and was not on the agenda of the ACRJ (regional jail board) until Bellamy joined the Board last January. The ACRJ basically performs nuts-and-bolts administrative and oversight tasks — until last January, that is, when it was immediately politicized.
    Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) picks up only certain detainees upon their release from jail. ICE officials know the full criminal histories – arrests, warrants, previous imprisonments – of illegals based on fingerprints. They do our community a huge service by removing dangerous individuals from our community. Wes Bellamy and his supporters want these serious criminals to return to our community, where they will victimize local residents.
    I am perplexed by Bellamy’s motivations as is Al Morris (above). Anyone who disagrees with him is branded and shunned as a “racist.” The issue, of course, has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with keeping our community safe, and protecting the innocent and the vulnerable from predators. That would include people of all races, and benefit everyone.
    As psychologist and neuroscientist Jordan Peterson has observed: “… it was [Carl] Jung who developed the most surgically wicked of psychoanalytic dicta: if you cannot understand why someone did something, look at the consequences – and infer the motivation.”
    Anyone with a brain knows that more crime means more victims in the local population. The fact is people who are comfortable with breaking laws tend to keep doing so. Bellamy, however, goes even further, and wants to provide a safe haven for these outlaws by designating Charlottesville a “sanctuary city.”
    So why does Bellamy want to inflict harm on local residents? Is there some deep, personal, festering anger that moves him to do so – as, for instance, reflected in the hateful tweets that lost him his job in the Albemarle County school system?
    Sadly, the inertia of our community – the collective fear of being called “racist” – will keep Bellamy in power. Tourism is already declining, and Charlottesville may, over time, go the way of San Francisco, its streets littered with hypodermic needles and human feces. Bellamy will have accomplished his goal.

  6. Okay, without the semantics…let’s read between the lines for the obvious here:
    Bellamy et. al. want the board to vote to not cooperate with ICE. Why? Most likely because they see a future voting block (even, perhaps, a present voter or two) for their party.
    There is a hesitancy these days to face the enemy if his pigment is not of your tone. That is pointed out by Diane.
    Paige was right; technically, she was only supposed to serve three terms. This error was miraculously discovered a couple of weeks before a critical vote on the ICE issue. Wheeler was right, also…her current (erroneous) fourth term is still in effect; she is being “terminated” due to the brilliance of those who allowed her on a fourth term.

    This is all about politics. You either want this area to assist ICE or you don’t.

    I do know the city of Charlottesville is indeed laughed at and derided by many outside the area. Anyone who follows politics and social events closely if familiar with some of the goings on here, and the impression is poor.

    I find it remarkable that Bellamy insists on assigning the honorific “Dr.” to his name, even in places where it is not relevant. There is a type of person who does that; kind of fits a profile. I remember the closing credits of some TV shows that would read: “Created by: William H. Cosby, Ed.D.”

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