Saturday, September 09, 2006

What is Sean Connaughton Up To?

Did he resign, or not? VirginiaVirtucon is certain he has, because federal law requires it, and they have a source which claims he did it. NovaScout even made a snide comment claiming Sean resigned Tuesday Night.

But the Potomac News reported nothing, and people were wondering. James Young expressed reservations, and noted that Sean could really mess things up by not doing the right thing. However, he sited Riley's assurances that Sean had indeed resigned.

Ben at NotLarrySabato also wondered what was happening, and clearly spelled out why it would be very bad for all of Prince William if Sean didn't get his resignation in properly before September 8.

The TooConservative site, where Vincent had previously asserted that Sean would serve out his term, has ignored the entire question, apparently living in an alternative universe where Sean hasn't taken a new position and left his post.

But in a comment at NotLarrySabato, Vincent made a cryptic comment that "It's Sean's decision, and he will do what's right for PWC. I have complete faith in him, and know that he will resign when the time is right for the citizens to benefit." That sounded like a threat of some subterfuge, and I asked TC about it but he failed to respond.

But still, even while wondering what was happening, I was certain Sean would do the right thing and resign in time to have the election on November 7th.

So I was shocked to get THIS letter from the PWC Republican committee, which I have to type in because it was a PDF:

Prince William BOCS Chairman Special Election

The Prince William County Board of Elections informed us today that the special election for the position of the Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors would not occur on November 7, 2006. Therefore, another date will have to be determined for the Prince William County residents to vote for a new Chairman.

Today, September 8, 2006 was the deadline set by the Prince William County Board of Elections to place the name of the Candidates for the Special Election on the ballot. The Prince William County Government has not received the resignation from the current holder of this office, Sean Connaughton.

When a vacancy occurs or even a letter stating a future resignation date (per Virginia Code 24.2-228.1A) is submitted, a Judge has up to fifteen days to issue the Writ of Election, which sets the date of the Special Election. The Election must be held between forty-five to sixty days after the Writ (per Virginia Code 15.2-502C).

According to the following website:, Sean Connaughton was sworn in to his new position on Wednesday, September 6, 2006. Several attempts had been made to contact Mr. Connaughton to ask when he would be sworn into this new position and when his resignation letter would be received. As of this time, Mr. Connaughton has not responded.

We will keep you informed of any new information regarding this special election.

If true, and I can't imagine why they would make this up, Sean has indeed screwed the people of Prince William County, and for what reason I cannot fathom. Why would he not informed the appropriate people of his resignation? If NovaScout knew about it on Tuesday night, why wouldn't the county elections board know about it two days later? What game is Sean playing here?

I am VERY VERY dissappointed in Sean right now, so much so that I can't express it. I still hope it is wrong, that someone has made a mistake.

I note that a judge has up to 15 days to make a decision, but could make the decision much earlier. So while we can't get names on the ballot, the election law still suggests that a judge could order the election on the same day, maybe with different ballots, or maybe a judge will order the county to re-print and re-send ballots, or something.

Like I said, it's hard to think clearly about this, and I can't understand why Sean put the county in this position. I just don't get it. Sean, can you come here and explain? Anybody know what is happening?

UPDATE: BVBL as usually is on top of the news as well, and has a comment thread over here about it.


NoVA Scout said...

Charles: I think the resignation was geared to fit between the end of the Board meeting on the 5th, over which Connaughton presided, and the federal swearing in on the 6th. I assume that makes sense to everyone.

Anonymous said...

What THE HELL is going on Sean?

If you did resign from the BOS why are you still on the BOS?

9/12/06 Potomac News Correction

A judge must issue a writ for a special election before the election for the chairman’s seat on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors can be scheduled.

An article in Saturday’s Potomac News said the election will be held in November but failed to mention the need for a writ which may or may not come in time for the November General Election.

9/12/06 BOS Agenda:

8. Supervisors’ Time
view A. RES – Approve – Commendation – Sean T. Connaughton, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors – Liz Bahrns – Office of Executive Management

B. RES – Appoint – Ken Whitehead of Eli Lilly and Company; Michael Korent of Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems; and Gloria Pryor of Marine Corps Systems Command to the Economic Development Council – Chairman Connaughton