Correction time: Ben Boyd did disclosure his convictions for steroid possession.

If The Caroline Progress can be believed:

Also commenting Tuesday, School Board Chairman Margaret Watkins said that Coach Boyd included the misdemeanor conviction on his application. She said that everyone has something in their past they regret. She pointed out that few at Citizens Comments criticized the hiring.

Well, in a battle between The Caroline Progress and The Free Lance–Star, they both lose. But in a normal world, someone would list those convictions on their resume. And since the burden of proof is on me to show that he didn’t (even if all I’m doing is quoting one rag of a paper, i.e., The Free Lance–Star), if another rag (i.e., The Caroline Progress) comes along and says that he did indeed list those convictions, I’m going to issue a retraction and a correction. At least until there’s some evidence contrary to what The Caroline Progress has said. Although, for some reason they use the singular term “conviction” when Boyd was in fact convicted of two different counts: possession of steroids and misbranding of a prescription drug.

Anyway…my my, my face is red. Of course, it’s not as red as some other people’s faces should be.

Just sayin’.

And the railroading of Ben Boyd begins…

I previous posted about the idiocy of hiring Ben Boyd — who had previous pled guilty to possession of steroids — to be the next football coach for Caroline County High School. Even worst, there have been allegations that he had failed to disclosure his convictions on his application when he applied for the job (I use the word “allegations” because there has been a dispute regarding whether that’s true or not).

As bad as that decision was, and as bad as the School Board’s decision to reaffirm his hiring, the reaction to his hiring has reached the point of absurdity:

Several days before the School Board meeting, Caroline Sheriff Tony Lippa filed a formal complaint with the Virginia Department of Education about the process that led to Boyd’s hiring.

Search committee members said Boyd’s conviction wasn’t listed on his application, and Lippa cited a Virginia code that states anyone who makes false statements regarding a crime of moral turpitude on a teaching application is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. That person’s teaching license will be revoked upon conviction.

School Board member Sims said Boyd is a licensed teacher who will instruct a brand-new strength and conditioning class at Caroline.

“The misbranding of a prescription drug shows moral turpitude,” Lippa said. “It’s fraud.” ((Taft Coghill. “Caroline coach’s hiring reaffirmed.” The Free Lance–Star. 10 Jun. 2009: <>.))

First, let’s review the definition of “fraud”. Fraud, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, is “[a] knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment”. ((“Fraud.” Black’s Law Dictionary. 3rd pocket ed. 2006.))

Second, let’s review the charges that Ben Boyd pled guilty to. The charges were possession of steroids (a federal misdemeanor) and misbranding of a prescription drug (also a federal misdemeanor). What exactly was misbranded? According to a story from The Roanoke Times handily available via LexisNexis:

Boyd was charged with misbranding various types of steroids because the labels did not include the warning “Caution: Federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription.” ((Ray Cox. “CRIMINAL RECORDS DOESN’T COST BOYD.” The Roanoke Times. 11 Oct 2006: LexisNexis.))

You folks might be wondering how the heck is that fraud, right? Well, it ain’t. If the guy had, for example, been putting aspirin in a bottle with a label that said hydrocodone (a drug similar to OxyContin) and selling it as hydrocodone, yeah, that would be fraud. But as the facts of the case stand according to The Roanoke Times, the guy never committed fraud.

Now, you may be asking yourself, even if the crimes weren’t fraudulent in nature, were they still crimes of “moral turpitude”? Here’s what the Attorney General of Virginia stated in an opinion to Delegates Danny Marshall regarding a similar statute requiring certification to school boards by contractors regarding their employees [original footnotes omitted]:

Question Four

You next inquire what specific crimes would be considered crimes of moral turpitude.

I find no statute or case that contains an exhaustive list of crimes of moral turpitude. Determining whether a particular crime involves moral turpitude begins with an examination of the nature of the crime. The Supreme Court of Virginia has defined a crime involving moral turpitude as “‘an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellow man, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man.'”

The Virginia Supreme Court has held that crimes involving dishonesty, including petty larceny and making a false statement to obtain unemployment benefits, are crimes of moral turpitude that may be used to impeach witnesses. The Virginia Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals of Virginia also have determined that drunkenness and illegal possession of liquor, assault and battery, gambling, transportation of untaxed liquor, and indecent exposure are not crimes constituting moral turpitude [that may be used to impeach witnesses].

Therefore, it is my opinion that whether a certain crime involves moral turpitude depends on the facts and the nature of the crime. However, crimes involving dishonesty do involve moral turpitude. ((Office of the Attorney General of Virginia. Opinion to The Honorable Danny W. Marshall, III. 5 Jan. 2007: <>.))

Do misdemeanor convictions of steroid possession consist of “crimes involving dishonesty”? No. Do they consist of a crime that is “an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellow man, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man”? Not in my interpretation.

If they do, that means anyone that failed to report a misdemeanor conviction for possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia could be charged and have their teaching license revoked. That’s probably a lot of people nowadays and I don’t think that would fit into the desire of the legislature when they wrote the law.

And as someone pointed out to me, if a statute and its application towards a particular defendant is ambiguous, the ruling should be made in favor of the defendant.

And here’s a even bigger question: Why is the sheriff interjecting himself into the hiring practices of a School Board? It isn’t his job to approve or disapprove of School Board hires and how accurately and completely they submit their applications. Does the School Board comes to his office and tell him who he should hire or not and determine whether his job applicants have submitted all their necessary paperwork and accurately filled out their forms? I sure as heck hope not.

I also have to wonder the following: Was Sheriff Lippa too busy focusing on this matter and sending a formal complaint to the Virginia Department of Education to use the Caroline Alert System to quickly and inexpensively send pictures out of two missing teenagers to over 2,000 people (which he didn’t do)?

What’s the point of sending out a text alert for two missing teenagers if you don’t include a link to their pictures?

First alert on March 28th at 5:34 pm:

This Caroline Alert is being sent authority of Sheriff A A Lippa to all users reference two missing female juveniles being investigated by Caroline County Sheriff’s Office. Please be on the lookout for Breanna Kay-Elizabeth Cleveland, Race/W Sex/F Hgt/507 Wgt/150 Hair/Brown Eyes/Brown DOB/19930323. She was last seen wearing a black shirt and unknown color pants. Unknown direction of travel or where she may be. She is believed to be in the company of Mareena Alane Davis, Race/W Sex/F Hgt/508 Wgt/195 Hair/Brown Eyes/Blue DOB/19931223. Unknown clothing description for this subject. Both were last seen on May 27,2009. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of these subjects, please contact the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office at 804-633-5400.

Alert on March 28th at 6:20 pm:


Alert on March 30th at 8:20 pm:

Missing juvenile Breanna Cleveland has been located today by Stafford County. The second juvenile Mareena Davis is still missing.

Alert on March 31th at 12:02 am:

The other missing juvenile, Mareena Davis has been located by Stafford County. As stated in previous alert, Breanna Cleveland has also been found.

Sheriff Tony Lippa also sent out an e-mail to the 50 people on his mailing list stating that the teenagers were reporting missing on March 28th at 3:52 pm, after failing to return home from school on the same date. Also included in that e-mail were PDFs of fliers that had been prepared by the Sheriff’s Office which included the missing teenagers’ pictures. While it was good that the first alert was sent within two hours, that e-mail wasn’t sent out until the 29th at 10:34 am, over 18 hours after they had been reported missing.

Right now, according to Interim Director of the Department of Fire & Rescue Mark Garnett, there are 2,072 registered users of the Caroline Alert System. The system cost the county $25,000 back in July 2007 to implement and there’s a yearly expense of $7,500 for continuing usage of the system but there isn’t a fee per alert apparently.

Regardless of whether the sheriff’s office thought there were runaways or not, common sense would dictate that if you have the ability to distribute pictures of two missing teenagers to 2,072 people at no cost, you would use the system for that purpose. To post those PDFs of the fliers or just their pictures, it would take about 30 seconds to upload the fliers and another 30 seconds to send out the alert with links to the viewers or pictures. People with mobile web on their phones would be able to view the picture as would those that access to a computer and their e-mail account. How much time and money would it take to distribute those same fliers to over 2,000 people?

Sheriff Tony Lippa endorses John Brownlee for Attorney General.

I’m still leaning towards Cuccinelli right now, but hey:


A short e-mail to let you all know: I have met two of the three candidates for Attorney General and I am supporting John Brownlee. Mr. John Brownlee will be coming to Bowling Green , Saturday, January 17th, 10:30-11:30 AM at the Main Street Cafe ( 117 Main Street ). Although I will not be in town that day, if you are available and want to meet him, I am sure that John will be able to answer your questions, address your concerns, or discuss his views and his plans for the Office of Attorney General.

Furthermore; John is an Army veteran and that he is the only prosecutor and the only veteran seeking the Republican nomination for Attorney General. Presently over 75 Sheriffs and Commonwealth’s Attorneys around the state have already endorsed him.

You all know that I am an independent, with that being said, and if you have the time to meet him, you will see why I have endorsed him.

You may learn more about John by visiting his website

Tony “Indictmentgate” Spencer and video of the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office taking down some drug dealers!

From WTVR:

[flv: 320 240]

“Operation Sunset” – Caroline County Sheriff’s Office Makes Numerous Drug Arrests

From the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office (PDF):

The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office continues their war on illegal drugs and distribution. According to Sheriff A. A. “Tony” Lippa, the mass arrest operation started at 5:30 this morning. The Caroline County Grand Jury met October 1, 2008 and issued 57 drug distribution related indictments against several individuals. These indictments are based on the continuing efforts of the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division with support from the Virginia State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office continued making arrests of suspected illegal drug dealers this morning as part of a year long undercover drug investigation. The Caroline Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Investigators, Special Emergency Response Team and troopers and special agents from the Virginia State Police began arresting suspects on October the 16th. when they executed two search warrants within Caroline County and arrested four suspects on drug distribution related charges. Both of these search warrants resulted in the seizure of cocaine with a street value of over $2,000.00, a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, over $8,000.00 in currency, weight scales containing white powder residue and two vehicles valued at $40,000.00.

This morning the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office continued the operation by executing two more drug related search warrants and arresting 15 additional suspected drug dealers on a total of 57 drug related indictments ranging from distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, to distribution of marijuana. The Caroline Sheriff’s Office Special Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant in the Ruther Glen area which resulted in the arrest of a suspect and the seizure of $3,000.00 in currency.

Caroline Narcotics Officers, assisted by the Virginia State Police Tactical Team executed a search warrant in the Cedon area which resulted in the seizure of cocaine with a street value of $2800.00, $2000.00 in currency, weight scales containing white powder residue and the arrest of a mother and son team accused of distributing cocaine.

Sheriff Tony Lippa stated, “This operation has been a success thanks to the citizens of Caroline County who have been willing to take a stand against these illegal drugs and help Investigators conduct such operations as this. We have made great strides in our fight against illegal drugs and more arrests are to come.”

Sheriff Lippa also credited the Sheriffs of Hanover, King George and Westmoreland Counties, the Colonial Beach Police Department, the Virginia State Police, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration for assisting in the execution of these warrants. Sheriff Lippa extends his appreciation and thanks to these citizens and law enforcement agencies who have provided such great assistance.

“This is an extensive on-going investigation and no further details will be released at this time,” said Sheriff Lippa.

Attached on the next few pages are photographs of each arrestee and their charges.

No word how much evidence was destroyed or many people eluded capture because the Commonwealth’s Attorney decided to blabbed to The Caroline Progress about how many sealed indictments he had.

Continue reading ““Operation Sunset” – Caroline County Sheriff’s Office Makes Numerous Drug Arrests”

Caroline County Sheriff’s Office Receives Accreditation!

From the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office (PDF):

Caroline Sheriff A. A. “Tony” Lippa is pleased to announce that accreditation of the Sheriff’s Office by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) has been granted. This 187 step process involves assessors verifying all aspects of the sheriff’s office operations to see that standards for efficient and effective agency operations are met. The stated goals of VLEPSC include: To increase the effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth through the delivery of services; To promote cooperation among all components in the criminal justice system; To ensure the appropriate level of training for law enforcement personnel; and To promote public confidence in law enforcement.

Achieving accreditation is one step further than state certification, which the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office was awarded in 2006. Accreditation standards are more comprehensive and stringent than those involved in certification. “Certification was akin to the agency getting its high school diploma. State accreditation is like receiving our bachelor’s degree,” said Sheriff Lippa.

The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office was recommended for accreditation by a team of reviewers who report to the VLEPSC Board of Directors. At its regular meeting on October 16th, the Board of Directors voted to grant accreditation status to the Caroline Sheriff’s Office. The board remarked that Caroline County had “one of the best” initial accreditation surveys” they had ever conducted. The Board also stated that it was wonderful to see representation and support from County Government, as Sheriff Lippa was joined at the accreditation award ceremony by County Administrator Percy Ashcraft, Deputy Administrator Alan Partin and Sheriff’s Office Citizen Advisory member Bob Gordon.

Sheriff A. A. “Tony” Lippa remarked, “I am both pleased and proud to announce that your Caroline County Sheriff’s Office has been granted accreditation for the first time ever. I am extremely proud of the men and women of this agency who have worked long and hard to see that these standards were met. Becoming accredited at the state level is yet another step to bring your sheriff’s office to the forefront of modern law enforcement.” Mr. Ashcraft remarked, “On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I want to commend Sheriff Lippa and his staff for their hard work and dedication in achieving this significant milestone. This accreditation puts the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office in an elite group of law enforcement professionals. It is a proud day for Caroline County and the citizens we all serve.”

The sheriff’s office is placing new accreditation decals, shown above, on all marked cruisers to indicate to the public this outstanding achievement.

Sergeant A. W. Lambert, Deputy Sara Harper, VALEPSC Director Gary Dillon, Sheriff Lippa, Lt. Col. M. W. Hall, Admin Asst. Ms. Wimmer and Major Moser pose together at the VALEPSC Board meeting following the accreditation award.