Alleged White House gate crashing did not violate ‘good behavior’ condition.
By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
A misdemeanor Petit Larceny charge against alleged White House gatecrasher Tareq Salahi related to an August 2009 dispute with a auto repo man at their Linden home was dismissed on April 28 in Warren County General District Court.
Neither Tareq Salahi nor his wife Michaele appeared for the routine case review. Mr. Salahi was represented by Front Royal defense attorney Jerry Talton. On October 28th, the case was continued with the commonwealth and Salahi’s attorney agreeing that the case would be dismissed with no finding of guilt and no costs assessed “dependent on the good behavior” of Mr. Salahi through April 28, 2010. Warren County Commonwealth Attorney Brian Madden told us in December that good behavior meant no criminal charges filed for acts committed during the six months the case is being continued.
When Judge W. Dale Houff asked Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Elizabeth Bradley if the commonwealth would stipulate that Salahi had met the terms of the agreement, she replied, “Yes, your honor.” To which Houff quipped that at least Salahi had committed “nothing of this nature” during the court ordered six months of good behavior.
The obvious reference to Salahi and his wife’s now infamous Nov. 24, 2009 alleged gate crashing of a White House State Dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh received no reaction from the courtroom packed not with D.C. media as had been the case during an unrelated December court appearance by the Salahis here, but by other people pondering their own misdemeanor charges.
Neither was there any sign of a camera crew from the Bravo Network TV show Real Housewives of D.C., which as Warren County Report first reported tapped Mrs. Salahi and her husband for roles in the upcoming season.
“Our position throughout has been that Tareq was not guilty,” Talton told us. The charge stemmed from the accusation of a repo driver that Salahi had taken his truck keys and tossed them away to prevent a vehicle repossession.
Talton pointed out that Repo driver Edward R. Beal, then of L & K Recovery in Centerville, had driven off the Salahi property the evening of the incident, albeit without the Salahi’s Audi after the Warren County Sheriff’s Office intervened after a call about the disturbance over the attempted repo. Talton also noted that Beal had not filed a complaint about the Aug. 14 incident until October 9, nearly two months later.
“The charge was nonsense,” Talton concluded.
Beal was sent to repossess the car at the Salahis Overlook Drive home in the Mosby Estates subdivision last August because Salahi was over $5,500 behind on payments at the time on an outstanding balance of $57,646.22. The monthly payment on the car is $1,771.39.
It was the same car the Salahis traveled to Front Royal in last December amidst a D.C. media frenzy for a court appearance on a civil dispute over an unpaid lawn service bill. On Dec. 4, Salahi turned over a supposed Phillipe Patek designer watch valued in the thousands of dollars to satisfy that debt. But when it was eventually determined through the court clerk’s office and local jeweler Jean’s Jewelers to be an imitation worth perhaps $100 a further uproar over the controversial couple ensued. The watch had been turned over to satisfy a year-old $925 debt to A1A Home Improvement and Lawn Care Service that had grown to $2,063 with court costs, legal fees and interest.
When the couple returned to their car parked in the Peyton Street parking lot following that December court appearance, they found the vehicle ticketed for an expired inspection sticker. A video of the posting of that ticket made FRPD traffic enforcement Officer Donald Orye a You Tube sensation that week.
Tareq Salahi is son of Dirgham and Corrine Salahi, founders of the now bankrupt Oasis Vineyards in Hume. He has been engaged in a long dispute with his mother over vineyard ownership and power of attorney for his now disabled father.