Manassas Park Updates

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Black Velvet Bruce Li has several updates of the shenanigans going down in Manassas Park, Virginia.

Pay particular attention to the “settlement offer” town officials offered David Ruttenberg.

This is a very recent development, and it’s really pretty outrageous. In exchange for dropping his lawsuit, the city officials named in the lawsuit promised they would not stand in the way of Ruttenberg selling his bar — at a significant loss, of course (as BVBL notes, the statement to Ruttenberg from the city lawyer that he also gets “peace” in the deal is also striking).

Isn’t this illegal? Aren’t they basically conceding in that offer that they currently are standing in the way of Ruttenberg selling his bar? As I understand it, they are. Ruttenberg has found people interested in buying his business who were then rebuffed by city officials who would hint to them that, for example, they have a difficult time obtaining permits.

But here’s where it gets really crazy. The offer the city made only requires that Ruttenberg drop his suit against the individuals named in it. In other words, the Manassas Park mayor, chief of police, and individual police officers David Ruttenberg is suing were prepared not only to blackmail Ruttenberg into dropping his suit by removing the illegal obstacles they’d put in front of his selling the bar, they were doing all of this only to save their own asses. Though they’re employees of Manassas Park, they were negotiating as public employees to save themselves, not for the benefit of the town.

That ought to say something to the citizens of Manassas Park about what their public officials are capable of.

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