Briefly Noted


Lawyers for Jerry Falwell notified Lynchburg Circuit Court that their client will not pursue his claim the school damaged his reputation by repeating what he labeled as lies about his participation in an extramarital affair involving his wife and a former business partner. “I’ve decided to take a time out from my litigation against Liberty University, but I will continue to keep all options on the table for an appropriate resolution to the matter,” Falwell said.

A Liberty spokesperson said in a statement that Falwell’s decision to drop the suit “was not prompted by any payments, promises, or other consideration” from the university. “The University’s administration and Board of Trustees are pleased that Falwell has dropped his lawsuit and look forward to pressing onward with the work of Liberty’s President and Chancellor Search Committee to find the new leadership to succeed Falwell,” said a spokesperson for the school.
Do old suits die or just fade away?


Two Portsmouth sheriff’s deputies were fired and six were suspended following an internal investigation into “possible violations of operational policy and procedures,” a Sheriff’s Office spokesman said. He would not say which policies and procedures may have been violated or what the deputies did to be disciplined.

The spokesman continued, “The Sheriff’s Office expects only the highest degree of professionalism from its employees; the appropriate corrective action has been taken.” The suspensions range from 5-10 days. The suspended deputies are required to attend training when they return to duty. Two deputies were cleared of policy violations after the internal investigation.  Two deputies were cleared following the investigation.

Should secrecy or nondisclosure be the Sheriff’s best policy?


Bedford County officials cited by the health department for violating the state’s pandemic restrictions said they believe they are exempt from the rules. 

The notice of violation came after more than 100 people flocked to the county administration building — most not wearing masks or social distancing — in response to a proposed resolution opposing Gov. Ralph Northam’s latest restrictions aimed at mitigating an increase in COVID-19 cases by capping most gatherings at 25 individuals, and expanding the mask mandate to include ages 5 and older. The resolution proposed by the public said Northam’s crowd size restrictions violate the First Amendment right to peaceful assembly, and called for Bedford County to actively oppose the restrictions in the name of being a “First Amendment sanctuary county.”

The notice said, “The reckless disregard for the requirements of the executive orders can, and will, unnecessarily endanger citizens of Bedford County.” It went on, “While all persons in the Commonwealth enjoy certain rights that are protected by law, all persons have a responsibility to comply with legal requirements to protect their fellow citizens.”

Replied the Bedford County Board of Supervisors chairman, “the board did not violate any rules at its last meeting. We have open meeting requirements by state law. When we are having an open meeting, state law requires that that meeting be open and that the public have an opportunity to give input.” The Bedford County administrator said the county attorney is meeting with the Virginia Department of Health regarding the issue. More direction on handling future meetings is expected following these discussions.

Nevertheless, the notice warns that “failure to ‘remedy the violations alleged’ . . . could result in enforcement action from the Bedford County Health Department, including Class 1 criminal misdemeanor charges and civil injunctive relief.

The right to infect my neighbor is protected by the First Amendment. Really?



Categories: Brief Cases, EDUCATION, HIGHER EDUCATION, Issues, Local, pandemic, police, POLICING, State

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