As many of you know, the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority has filed a $17,640,446 lawsuit against its former executive director, the sheriff, the ITFederal principal and others. How can this be possible?
I believe the alleged theft of public funds noted in the suit can be attributed to lack of oversight by the Town Council, the Board of Supervisors and the EDA board.
As a Front Royal-Warren County taxpayer, I question how there was so little supervision of the former executive director that no one asked for confirmation for anything taking place at the EDA. Allegations include paying bills to Sears and Chase from public funds and buying millions of dollars in property for herself and confederates using EDA funds without paperwork, contracts or board approvals. If true, it appears to be a case of misfeasance in which officials failed to provide oversight.
Finally, former town councilwoman Bebhinn Egger did the research and discovered through websites that ITFederal was a small company that did not have $140 million in assets as represented to the EDA. She told Town Council of her findings, yet not one member took even five minutes to confirm whether ITFederal was a legitimate entity with funds to construct the $40 million ITFederal project.
Not only did our elected officials ignore Egger, some even shunned her. It appears the EDA has been fleeced, and it happened under the noses of those charged with overseeing it. Now, our elected officials are falling all over themselves to make excuses, and some have acknowledged the lack of control or oversight of the EDA.
What I have not heard is that anyone is contemplating resignation. In view of the lack of responsibility and the loss of over $17 million, every town councilman and county supervisor as well County Administrator Doug Stanley and County Attorney Daniel Whitten should resign as soon as replacements can be found. I cannot imagine a situation in which every Town Council member and every county supervisor is guilty of neglecting their positions of responsibility. How could we have any trust in these individuals going forward?
C. John Costello, Front Royal