In mid June a subpoena was served on the Police Department of the Town of Middleburg requesting “any and all communications between the Town of Middleburg Police Department and/or Chief Steven L. Webber” regarding the “investigation” of the “charges and claims” made by Jack Goehring against Middleburg Eccentric Editor Dee Dee Hubbard and the “means and timing” of her arrest on or about November 30, 2010.
Specifically sought with regard to the “investigation” are communications between Chief Webber, members of his department, Goehring, the Virginia State Police, and State Police Inspector Robert J. Mrak.
Communications shedding light on the “means and timing” of the arrest are sought from the Police Department, Chief Webber, the Town Council of Middleburg, any member of the media, print or television, and any other “person or entity.”
Hubbard stands accused of deliberately misdepositing some 14 rent checks, totaling just under $8,500 given to her by the tenants of property owned by Goehring’s limited liability corporation, Piedmont Standards.
Professional photographs of her mid-day arrest, and march down Federal street, handcuffed, in the company of ﬁve armed officers appeared online and in print the next day.
Hubbard has testified that she “repaid” all of the funds in question “plus more” after learning “that errors had been made” in the depositing of the checks in question.
In a “Motion for Discovery and Inspection” ﬁled on June 2 in Loudoun County Circuit Court, Hubbard’s at-torney, Edward B. MacMahon of Middleburg, argued that “it appears clear to the defense that some of the witnesses” in the case, “including principal witness Jack Goehring, plainly lied to the State Police. . . .” in an effort to obtain criminal indictments against Hubbard.
Goehring did so, MacMahon continues “ . . . as part of a scheme to force Ms. Hubbard and members of her immediate family to pay substantial undue sums of money to Mr. Goehring.”
Since the indictments were re-turned, MacMahon continues, “ . . . Mr. Goehring, posing as an active member of the Virginia bar, has sued at least four persons or entities and demanded substantial funds from Ms. Hubbard and her family.”
In court documents MacMahon notes that the defense further seeks appropriate discovery of “ . . . whether Mr. Goehring, or his wife, told the State Po-lice or the Commonwealth that they intended to sue Ms. Hubbard or her family members once the investigations began and indictments were returned. This evidence shows bias and motive on the part of the complaining witnesses.”
The defense is also seeking correspondence between Goehring, the State Police, and Middleburg Bank, which MacMahon asserts “ . . . will show that Middleburg Bank ofﬁcials, as confirmed by Mr. Goehring at the preliminary hear-ing [of the Hubbard case], offered to repay the misdeposited amounts in full due to mistakes made by the tellers at Middleburg Bank.”
Citing verbatim transcripts of the March 16 preliminary hearing in the case, MacMahon notes in court documents:
“As the Court can see, Mr. Goer-hing plainly testified falsely at the preliminary hearing that Ms. Hubbard had not paid back all of the money at issue in this case long before the case was ﬁled or even investigated by the State Police. As the Court can see by the testimony below, Mr. Goehring’s testimony was false and was contradicted by the ad-mission of checks showing immediate and complete repayment of every penny demanded. Regardless, Mr. Goehring’s testimony was immediately rebutted by his wife, who testified that all of the monies had been repaid as the errors were found in the accounting.”
MacMahon further concludes that since “no party to any litigation is allowed to sponsor false testimony,” there is good reason for the Court to believe that Goehring not only testified falsely in the preliminary hearing, but “. . . lied as well to the State Police and the Commonwealth before his testimony was provided under oath.”
The defense also seeks copies of statements it contends were make to both the State Police and Common-wealth by “ . . . Mr. Goehring’s former business partner, Mr. John Bennison, that Ms. Hubbard made earlier mistakes in accounting that were always resolved amicably.”
“Lastly,” MacMahon’s ﬁling as-serted, “the Commonwealth should provide evidence of how the State Police and Agent Mrak in particular, elected to have Ms. Hubbard handcuffed and arrested in broad daylight after inviting the local press to come and watch and record the spectacle.”
Evidence related to that decision, the defense contends, would be admissible in court “ . . . to show bias by Agent Mrak against Ms. Hubbard who would simply have reported to Court to answer these charges as she has done so since she was released.” Goehring, MacMahon continues, “ . . . has already testified that he received advance notice of the arrest from the Middleburg Police . . . and has apparently elected to publish the photograph of Ms. Hubbard’s arrest on at least one website. . . .”
“The defense is entitled,” Mac-Mahon also asserts, “to offer evidence” of the advance notice given Goehring by the Middleburg Police Department of Hubbard’s pending arrest “. . . as well as evidence of the personal bias of former Middleburg Police Chief Webber against Ms. Hubbard.”
In that regard court documents indicate the defense is also seeking relevant communications between Maud Krulla and the Middleburg PD, Chief Webber, Jack Goehring, and Virginia State Police, “ . . . regarding the time and place of the arrest” of Hubbard on November 30.
Krullais allegedto be one of the photographers who took pictures of the November 30 arrest. The defense also seeks from Krulla “any and all communications” related to “any offer by you to sell photographs to any paper or entity pertaining to the arrest of the defendant.”
Photographs of the arrest appeared on the front page of the Loudoun Times Mirror and online the day after the arrest.
Chief Webber, who has announced his retirement from the Middleburg Police Force effective at the end of June, issued a press release on the day of the arrest, but, by all accounts to date, has consistently denied alerting “the media” in advance of the event.
Asked about the subpoena, Middleburg Town Attorney, Elizabeth Whiting, told the Eccentric she “ . .. received a telephone call from Ed MacMahon indicating that he planned to ask for a judge to issue a subpoena duces tecum for production of documents evidencing the contacts you describe involving the Middleburg Police Department.”
“Several days later,” she continued, “I received via USPS what I took to be the subpoena he intended for issuance to the Middleburg Police Department, but did not know whether it would be issued as requested, modified or denied by the judge.”
Whiting then confirmed with Town Clerk Rhonda North that “ . . . while she is the point of contact for requests under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, she is not the custodian of the records of the police department . . .”
Whiting then advised MacMahon that it made sense to serve the Police Department directly.
That subpoena, according to Whiting, “ . . . was served less than 24 hours before production was required in the Circuit Court Clerk’s ofﬁce.”
Effort to Quash
When Whiting returned to her office, “ . . . the evening before the return was to be made” . . . she found waiting for her “. . . a voicemail from Commonwealth Attorney,”Jim Plowman,“ asking her to call and speak to him directly.”
According to Whiting, Plowman indicated, “ . . . that he did not believe that a subpoena duces tecum could or should issue in a criminal case and that he would be ﬁling a motion to quash the subpoena the following morning.”
Whiting was “not aware of the issuance of other subpoenas or the basis on which they, or the subpoena issued to the Middleburg Police Department, were issued,” she said.
Whiting was the only representative of Town government to comment on the record by press time. No responses had been received to late requests for comment emailed over the weekend of June 18-19 to others.
Well before MacMahon’s discovery motion was ﬁled, and well before the subpoena was served on the Middleburg PD, all members of the Council, Town Staff, and the Police Department had been advised by the Town Attorney that it would be inappropriate for them to comment on matters related to the investigation, arrest, or case against Hubbard until the case had cleared the courts.
Several weeks before the subpoena was served on the Police Department, the Town had issued invitations to a June 30, 5:00 to 7:00 PM “Reception in Honor of Chief Steve Webber” be held on the front lawn of The Health Center at 14 South Madison Street. Part of that building also serves as Police Headquarters.
RSVPs were tobe made to Town Hall by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling the Town Ofﬁce, 540-687-5152
The invitation asked those who could attend to “Join us in thanking Steve for his service to the Town of Middleburg, 1996-2011.”