Following the filing of my complaint with the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission, I wrote the Virginia Attorney General's office asking his office to look into possible improprieties. Here is that letter:
Kilmarnock, Virginia 22482
January 19, 2015
Mark Herring, Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
Commonwealth of Virginia
900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Attorney General Herring:
I have filed a complaint with the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission against Virginia Supreme Court Justice Cleo E. Powell. The complaint centers on a major factual error in her October 31, 2013 decision to throw out the jury verdict holding Virginia Tech liable in the Pryde and Peterson lawsuit against the school. (My complaint and the evidence are attached).
Justice Powell wrote that the Blacksburg Police were in charge of the investigation of the killings on April 16, 2007, but in fact it was the Virginia Tech Police Department. I have been involved in and teach intelligence and crime analysis for nearly 50 years. (My bio is attached.) This is a stunning factual error, and as I said in the complaint, if one of my students made this mistake I would flunk him or her.
Both Blacksburg Police Chief Kim Crannis and Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum testified under oath that it was the Virginia Tech Police who were in charge. (The testimony is included in the complaint.)
The question arises how could such an error of this magnitude make it into the Supreme Court’s decision when the evidence before the court states the opposite? Indeed, there are at least five references in the testimony that the Virginia Tech Police Department was in charge.
It is against the law to introduce false evidence or facts in a court of law. It must certainly be against the law to feed false facts to a Supreme Court justice; facts that are contained in a ruling involving the worst school shooting in this nation’s history. The error is so great that it casts doubt on the court’s integrity, objectivity, and truthfulness.
I am not accusing Justice Powell and the court of being untruthful, but I am arguing that for this ruling to stand uncorrected is tantamount to condoning factual errors at the highest level of the state’s judiciary.
Because of the factual error in the Pryde and Peterson decision, there is a very real possibility that the two families’ civil rights were violated. There is also the possibility of some form of public corruption in the form of undue influence on the court.
I am asking that the Attorney General’s office investigate whether or not there is a civil rights violation and how a factual error on that scale could make it into a major Virginia Supreme Court decision.