Hotel developer wants city manager to 'gag' public employees; bar them from talking to media about increasingly contentious project

The above email from Bruce Thompson to City Manager James Spore, City Atty. Les Lilley; Asst. City Atty. Carol Hahn; & Councilmen Richard Maddox and Peter Schmidt is pretty much self-explanatory.  If you have any questions email Virginia New Source.

Apparently Thompson was upset about a story Virginia New Source ran headlined:  "31st Street developer gets city project manager 'fired' - claims city failing to meet contract terms and construction schedule" detailing an explosive meeting after which Thompson complained about the project director to Spore.

Public Works Director Dean Block, the project manager for 31st Street hotel, was then 'fired' and replaced with Director of Public Utilities Clarence Warnstaff to honcho the city's oversight of the project.

Although Thompson complains about the story's accuracy in the email, neither he nor anyone from the city complained or challenged the facts to VNS.

Thompson also claims he was referred to as a 'convict.'  He was indicted on  felonies but in a plea agreement was convicted of federal misdemeanors in connection with the bugging of former Gov. Douglas Wilder's cell phone, recordings of which were delivered to then Sen. Charles (Chuck) Robb's office.  The idea of the 'bugging' was political surveillance of Wilder.  Several others were also convicted in connection with the scheme.

Unrelated to the Robb bugging, Thompson's partner, Edmund C. Ruffin, was convicted of a federal felony in connection with income taxes.

The dictionary defines a convict as:  "n. Law (knvkt) -

  1. A person found or declared guilty of an offense or crime.

An ex-convict is one who has been pardoned of a criminal conviction or offense.  In other words, a person convicted of a crime is a convict until pardoned, whereupon he becomes an 'ex-convict.' 

VNS will publish any comment Thompson wants to make refuting any fact in the story about which he complained in the above email.

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