In April of 2019, after reading section of the Charlottesville Independent Review (aka “Heaphy Report”) I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for “emails and text messages of Maurice Jones on August 11 and 12, 2017”.
For those unaware, Maurice Jones was City Manager during the events of the Unite the Right protest. In Charlottesville City Manager is head of the government and police respond to him as the final policy maker.
Jones was with Police Chief Al Thomas and the FBI (among others) when the stand-down order to “let them fight” was issued.
The city had denied my initial request falsely claiming that there were “no responsive documents”.
After a recent reading of former Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer’s book I determined that that was a lie. Signer describes with great specificity the date, time and content of emails and text messages he exchanged with Maurice Jones on August 12.
You may read the filing, along with relevant exhibits, in the embbedded PDF below. A hearing on the complaint has been scheduled for November 2020.
UPDATE Within less than a week of the hearing for this case I received an email from Charlottesville Communications Director Brian Wheeler containing a partial production of the requested documents.
Notably, most of the critical August 12 texts are still missing but I have received a stunning admission that the phones were allegedly wiped without preserving the most critical evidence regarding a police “stand down”. (see letter below)