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Athey's judgeship nomination returning for consideration

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

After being sidetracked for months, the appointment of former Del. Clifford L. "Clay" Athey Jr. to circuit judge is headed back onto the General Assembly agenda, a local lawmaker said Monday.

Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, said he expected Athey's proposed appointment to a judgeship in the 26th Judicial Circuit will probably be considered on May 7 or 8, now that the state budget has passed.

Gilbert said earlier this year he was confident that Athey was on track for approval, despite a procedural dispute between Democrats and Republicans that prevented lawmakers from voting to fill vacant judgeships in January.

Gilbert was equally upbeat about Athey's prospects on Monday.

"Mr. Athey remains the choice of the local delegation, and I have every reason to believe he will be elected when the General Assembly reconvenes," Gilbert said, adding that newly approved judges will start hearing cases on July 1.

Athey, a Republican, is one of two new judge nominees waiting for a vote in the General
Assembly. Clarence E. "Bud" Phillips, a former Democratic member of the House of Delegates, is the other candidate, along with incumbents who are also subject to approval by the General Assembly.

Gilbert practices law out of Athey's firm in Front Royal, but has said he has no other financial interest in it.

Athey, a former mayor of Front Royal and member of the town council, represented Warren County and parts of Fauquier and Frederick counties from 2002 to 2011.

The retirement of John R. Prosser more than a year ago created a vacancy in the 26th Judicial Circuit that has since gone unfilled. The district covers the cities of Winchester and Harrisonburg, and Frederick, Shenandoah, Warren, Clarke, Page and Rockingham counties.



Athey, in a 2011 piece of legislation advocated that the Division of Child Support Enforcement could suspend a father's drivers license without notifying him before doing so, leaving non-custodial parents across Virginia subject to arrest...there's no way this idiot should be a judge...

He, and many other Republicans we have in elected office, are statists.

"Athey, in a 2011 piece of legislation advocated that the Division of Child Support Enforcement could suspend a father's drivers license without notifying him before doing so"

Dave, what's wrong with that? If Deadbeat Dads would pay child support, they wouldn't have anything to worry about.

Bottom line, pay your support or stop making children. Frankly, the rest of us are tired of supporting other folks kids, because the parents are a bunch of lazy bums.

I remember clay partying at the house on 11th street.(clay you recall Robin don't you?) . now he's going to be a judge, go figure

What's so special about a party house on 11th Street? Do tell....

Local Good Old Boy Republican attorneys get to decide which of their "wink-wink" cronies they will choose to sit in judgment of their cases? Isn't this called stacking the deck?

The blindfold of justice has become a neckerchief. Imagine if it had been "Judge" Athey and not Judge Hupp who decided the 522 Corridor Meals Tax case?

Athey's sister and all the other law firm partners Daryl Funk, Todd Gilbert, et al must be overjoyed and doing cartwheels. Lets not vote for these Good Old Boy scallywags.

you just have to love politics. Let us divide up Warren County with 3 total reps without a fight. Bring Gilbert into your law firm and we will make you a judge. Experience not required.

Just like many of the other pieces of legislation Athey sponsored, much of it was poorly crafted from a legal standpoint and definitely not worthy of permanence in the Code of Virginia.

Who remembers Athey voting for the "Abusive Driver Fees" surcharge imposed only on Virginia residents convicted of traffic infractions? When the big stink arose, Athey backpedaled and said he did not read the legislation before voting to approve it. He did not read it before signing??? Is this what he would do as a judge? And what is it with the Athey obsession with driver licenses? Is this a hallmark of ambulance chasers?

Imagine you are a dead-beat dad not making child support payments. What is gained by suspending the scofflaws driver license? Virginia's Child Support Enforcement division already has the power to seek court approved garnishment of the dead-beats wages, even if he resides out-of-state, thanks to reciprocity agreements with almost every state.

So, what is gained by suspending the dead-beats driver license? The threat of imprisonment? Child Support Enforcement already makes that threat as part of the court approved collection process. Why would taking away driving privileges then force dead-beats to pay support? Without a driver license what stops a dead-beat from driving? If he gets caught driving where will his court imposed fine be applied? If the dead-beat can't or won't pay child support, what will make him pay a traffic fine? If he does pay, will the money go to the children or to the state general fund where it could be spent on numerous items not related what-so-ever to child support.

No sir, this support enforcement law suspending driver licenses was not well thought out -- it was a knee-jerk overreaction to slavishly appeal to the far right wing ultraconservatives demanding a pound of flesh for events beyond their control. It accomplished absolutely nothing and it improved absolutely nothing to force dead-beats to pay up.

What happened at this 11th Street party now so famously linked to Clay Athey? What could he have possibly done that has survived to be brought up again this day? Must be some real good dirt on Mr. Squeeky Clean. When will pictures or videos be posted on YouTube?

How in the heck can Athey get up every morning and be in Court by 9AM. He was known in local GOP circles as the slug,always late and tardy! Athey was only good at pulling the strings and working party members against eachother for his own designs!
If this is the best candidate the Area has what will come next!

Citizens of the 26th Judicial Circuit should be outraged that Clay Athey would be appointed a Circuit Court Judge. Athey is patently unqualified to be a Judge. His years in the House of Delegates were unremarkable, noted only for a bed bug bill and a skunk killing bill. Athey has not seen a court room as a practicing attorney for more than 10yrs and has none experience litigating felony cases. Lawyers in the Circuit can not recall Athey litigating a jury trial, a contested divorce, or any difficult case a Circuit Court Judge routinely handles. His only apparent expertise is in influence peddling for commercial developers and rewarding his political cronies in Front Royal. Certainly there are more qualified lawyers in the circuit to be named a judge. BTW the only reason Athey is doing this is to quintuple his retirement from the retirement system.

Being from Winchester, most of the people in Winchester were very upset with Athey being postioned for the judgeship. The only outside chance of stopping this is to call your local state representatives and voice your concerns. call the governor asap.


Why is Gilbert the only attorney that is in favor of the appointment and believes he is qualified? Every lawyer I know in Winchester is shocked by the proposed appointment. Whoever Harry is he's right one!!!


JT, only 1/14 cases that DCSE handles are cases where taxpayers have "paid" for the children...in 13/14 other cases, we taxpayers not only pay for an accountant, caseworker, and attorney for the mom (where the mom isn't ordered to pay a single dime for the child and receives child support TAX FREE), but when child support is collected through DCSE, we taxpayers pay, again, at the rate of $.66 for every dollar collected and $.90 on the dollar for interest and arrears collected.

Action taken without notice, and by idiots you wouldn't let sit with your children, alone, constitutes a lack of due process.

Further, Virginia's been jailing fathers, and stealing their property for over 20 years, because the Attorney General's Office wasn't paying attention to their statutory responsibility.

Don't believe me? Take a look at this legislation, introduced after I sued DCSE...within the highlighted part, you can see that this law was applied to all cases tried PRIOR to the enactment of the law...which most 3rd graders know is illegal:


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