[Back Creek Supervisor Shawn Graber has responded to these allegations. That statement can be read in full here.]
UPDATED WITH RESPONSE Saturday, November 20, 2021 (11:10 am) WINCHESTER – “On Wednesday, November 3rd, Sheriff Lenny Millholland returned a phone call to Frederick County Back Creek Supervisor Shawn Graber in reference to concerns with the handling of a call for service on Election Day. Supervisor Graber stated he would be seeking federal and state criminal charges against Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Kennedy as a result of what he claims was Kennedy failing to perform his duties and committing “voter intimidation”.
“The interactions between Deputy Kennedy and Supervisor Graber stem from a call for service on Election Day where a female was concerned over a male subject continuing to photograph her at the polls after she requested for him to stop. This male subject was identified as Supervisor Graber who claimed he was documenting illegal activities. Supervisor Graber informed Sheriff Millholland that he wished to meet “one-on-one” to speak of this situation before seeking charges against Kennedy, stating things may get out of control at the next board meeting. During this call, Graber referred to Deputy Kennedy as an “Asshole” and “Knucklehead” having previously referred to him as “a complete jerk” to Sgt. B.C. Smith. Graber confirms to the Sheriff his FOIA request for all materials related to the call for service and advises the Sheriff that he has a “sour taste” with the Sheriff’s Office over this event. After more than 15 minutes on the phone, Sheriff Millholland advises Supervisor Graber that he hasn’t reviewed any videos or the report and is unsure of what exactly has happened. The Sheriff states he doesn’t like when things aren’t done right and that he would not seek to keep Graber from “doing what you got to do” during any proposed meeting between the two.
“Supervisor Graber states he will now be seeking a meeting between the Sheriff and the Board of Supervisors. Graber tells the Sheriff there is a history of the agency not handling election complaints properly, citing an incident with another board member’s wife at a primary a year ago, and that he is not the only one on the board that feels this way: “there are several that feel the same way that I do”. Graber suggests this meeting take place behind closed doors so things don’t “get blown up” and immediately states “however, if that Frederick County Educator’s Association, that woman that placed that call, comes out and starts running her mouth about it, I’m gonna defend myself and I’m gonna throw that Deputy as far under the bus as I have to”. An administrative investigation into Supervisor Graber’s claims of being told that he could not take photos were found to be false. Kennedy informed Supervisor Graber, from the very beginning, he was “free to take photos” and was told four times that it is not illegal to do so. Graber did not call FCSO this date, make any request for any law enforcement action while units were there nor was he treated unprofessionally or disrespectfully. Calling the deputy an “asshole” and “knucklehead” lacked both decorum and appeared unwarranted. Sadly, it’s often the negative actions or mistakes law enforcement officers make that get the most attention, even in false claims, such as this. As a matter of agency transparency, and for clarification, this information is being disseminated. We understand the board, rightfully, feels it not their place to hear such matters of election activities or to police the actions of another duly-elected official within their ranks. We also believe the necessity to have the incident openly and properly documented before any other erroneous or false claims or derogatory statements are leveled against our personnel.”
From Lt. W.W. Gosnell, Frederick County, Va. Sheriff’s Office
Posted by Dan McDermott: firstname.lastname@example.org