FRONT ROYAL – Former Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Jennifer McDonald on Friday was found to be in civil contempt and notified that she may be held monetarily liable for not following proper legal procedural processes.
In hearings related to the EDA's civil case against McDonald and 15 other individuals and companies, Circuit Court Judge Bruce D. Albertson ruled that she was in contempt of civil court and owed the EDA $375 in penalties. The contempt charge relates to McDonald gifting a parcel at 68 Pine Hills Road to her sister Gail Addison in August.
This transfer was conducted despite former Circuit Court Judge Clifford L. Athey's ruling that McDonald was prohibited from doing anything with that parcel and others.
Albertson also granted the EDA its request for a default judgment regarding about $3 million in land purchases by McDonald and her two LLCs, DaBoyz and MoveOn8.
Cullen Seltzer, the EDA's attorney, noted that McDonald failed to file a response to the authority's amended civil complaint. Therefore, he said the EDA wants a ruling on her liability for those land purchases.
Peter Greenspun, McDonald's lawyer, explained her failure to meet the filing deadline by noting that she spent 75 days in jail during the summer. He added that McDonald spent some time without a civil lawyer when she ran out of money to fund legal expenses.
Greenspun noted that McDonald "has a lot coming at her" as she has been labeled "this black widow director of the EDA" and the authority's lawyers strategically requested a response to the amended complaint. He requested 10 days to file a response to the amended complaint.
Albertson denied that request and set a 4 p.m. April 17 hearing regarding the default hearing. At that hearing, Albertson will determine penalties related to McDonald's, DaBoyz's and MoveOn8's land purchases.