You may not have seen it, because it is only in the print edition of Loudoun Times Mirror (and in their e-edition, scroll to page A21). It’s a rather effective critique of Jim Plowman’s role in the scandal of the innocent Vice-Principal. Here’s an excerpt.
Though the summary facts are well known, there are key aspects of the case which have been forgotten, or never publicized, which reflect poorly on Mr. Plowman. First, the original charges against Mr. Oei said nothing about child pornography.
Even the misdemeanor charge against Mr. Oei (punishable only by a fine of up to $500) was based on the mistaken belief that Mr. Oei had not reported the matter appropriately. After it was determined that Mr. Oei had, in fact, reported the incident to his Principal, the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney assigned to the case agreed that the charge should not be prosecuted, and filed a motion with the court to officially drop the case.
It was at this point that Mr. Plowman became personally involved, ordering the Assistant C.A. to withdraw the motion and continue with the case. Mr. Plowman also communicated to Mr. Oei’s lawyer an ultimatum: plead guilty to the failure to report charge and resign from the school system, or be charged with felony possession of child pornography.
As Mr. Oei’s attorney later stated in a sworn affidavit, Mr. Plowman “threatened [his] intention to pursue a legally and factually unsupportable felony charge” if Mr. Oei did not resign. Mr. Plowman had taken it upon himself — without consulting the Loudoun County Public Schools and despite Mr. Oei’s 30 years as a teacher and school administrator — to determine that Mr. Oei was not fit to work in the schools, and decided to extort him into resigning.
The Loudoun County School Board later voted to reimburse Mr. Oei for the legal fees he incurred defending himself from the baseless charges. Loudoun taxpayers were required to pick up the $167,000 tab for Jim Plowman’s witch hunt.
Mr. Plowman is an elected official, ultimately answering only to the voters of Loudoun County. In this election year, it is important to remember these egregious examples of Mr. Plowman’s poor judgment and abuse of power. – Jennifer Wexton
Since LTM wouldn’t put up a link (for reasons that are not yet known, there have been no new Letters to the Editor posted to the LTM site since February), you can read the full letter at Jennifer’s website!
And while you’re there, why not get involved? It’s time for a new Commonwealth’s Attorney.
(I provided some additional details and text from the letter to expand on this post -P13)