Bacon Bits: The Political Class in Action

Is Charlottesville governable? Charlottesville City Manager Chip Boyles has announced his resignation, making him the fifth interim or full-time city manager to leave the city since 2018, reports the Daily Progress. “The public disparagement shown by several community members and Mayor [Nikuyah] Walker has begun to negatively effect [sic] my personal health and well-being,” he wrote to City Council. Walker responded by saying Boyles should have been fired. “You shouldn’t have been able to sleep at night because you are a liar,” she said in a Facebook video. Walker, who gained notoriety for penning a poem likening Charlottesville to rape, has herself said she will not run for re-election. Boyle and Walker butted heads over many issues, including his firing of the city’s female, African-American police chief. One councilman told the Daily Progress that in the opinion of an executive search firm contacted last year, “we were not likely to be able to hire anybody with council as dysfunctional as it is.”

It was an innocent mistake, yer honor. Chesapeake Board Chair Victoria Proffitt, who had been laid off from her adjunct math teaching job at Tidewater Community College, has returned $984 in unemployment benefits she was overpaid by the Virginia Employment Commission. She attributed the error to a VEC oversight, but a special prosecutor had contended she was “either being intentionally dishonest or was just exceedingly careless,” says the Virginian-Pilot. Meanwhile…

Melanie Cornelisse, a Democratic candidate for the 78th House District, was arrested this week on trespassing charges after criticizing Proffitt during a school board meeting. At the Board’s request, she was escorted from the podium after she began her public comment, according to reports. She stopped in the parking lot and refused to leave. Police said they would arrest her for trespassing. She didn’t budge, and they arrested her. School board policy prohibits using the public comment period for a “personal attack against an individual.”

It was but a pittance, yer honor. Police are investigating evidence that Roanoke Councilman Robert Jeffrey Jr. made false statements to obtain a $7,500 grant to assist his magazine through the pandemic last year, reports the Roanoke Times. But police concluded that his claims of loss were “exaggerated or inflated.” The councilman also has been charged for two accounts of embezzlement from the Northwest Neighborhood Environmental Organization. He has protested his innocence.