The Front Royal/Warren County community owes the local news media a great debt for consistent and effective research, investigation and reporting on the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority.

Leading members of the community including the county supervisors, the Front Royal Town Council, the EDA Board, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and other members of the Warren County and Front Royal elite business, real estate, accounting and legal community will be investigated. They may be involved directly as part of the fraud and theft investigation, or indirectly by not acting to address EDA issues raised at official meetings or by continuing to support the continued appointment and employment of the actors involved.

While the present litigation is civil for recovery of money and property, the media should look at alleged criminal actions that could be prosecuted to make it clear that corruption shall not be tolerated.

This alleged malfeasance and serious concerns about the EDA were ignored and kept secret by a wide range of officials and elite “leading” citizens. I don’t believe the community would have been made aware of the extent of the allegations of corruption, self-serving land deals, conflicts and fraud if the media had not been persistent, consistent and effective in its reporting.

I also believe the daughter and father team, Bebhinn Egger Rowland and Mark Egger, deserve community recognition for their acts of courage on behalf of our community. Remember when the Board of Supervisors tried to silence Mark Egger from speaking at a board meeting by limiting the number of times a citizen could speak before the board? Remember when the town mayor and other council members refused to hear and believe the issues Ms. Egger Rowland and Mr. Egger raised were serious and needed investigation?

Again, without the local news, the community would not be aware of these allegations. Just because this is small, friendly community where everybody knows each other, government corruption is possible and we need to be a vigilant and knowledgeable citizen.

Robert Funk, Front Royal