Brian Allman Lawsuit Creates Multiple Headaches For Loudoun Democrats

Brian Allman, sheriff candidate
Loudoun Democrats’ candidate for sheriff, Brian P. Allman

The Loudoun County Democrats’ candidate for sheriff, Brian P. Allman, does not appear to have a campaign Web site yet, but he is already making an impact on the sheriff contest – and possibly other races as well.

According to Leesburg Today, Allman has filed a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against fellow Democrat – and key party volunteer – Larry Roeder. Allman’s suit reportedly claims both that Roeder defamed Allman in the course of challenging Allman’s petition for membership in the Loudoun County Democratic Committee (LCDC), and that Roeder plans to run for sheriff himself.

Presumably the situation at LCDC is still quite fluid, but some of the questions likely to be addressed in the imminent future are:

  • whether the committee will hear any challenges to Allman’s standing as the Democratic nominee – which he was named in late March;
  • if he remains the nominee, how to repair the relationship such that Allman’s candidacy can be promoted in the same manner as the campaigns of other Democratic nominees; and
  • whether the LCDC will provide any legal or financial assistance to Roeder in his response to the suit.

(LCDC Chairwoman Valerie Suzdak has not responded to FirewallNOVA’s request for comment, but if she does we will update this post.)

If the LCDC withdraws support for Allman’s candidacy, either by actually withdrawing the nomination or as a result of a lack of enthusiasm among LCDC members, the door will appear even more open for another candidate (ahem) to enter the race, than already is the case.

In addition to legal and financial complications brought about by having a candidate sue a committee member, in this case the target is someone who has been an instrumental volunteer for the LCDC. Roeder has opened portions of his home to serve as grassroots headquarter offices in past election seasons for the Democrats, and has dedicated many personal hours of work. Will Roeder be able to contribute to the same extent for the 2015 campaign season?

Normally, the formula for winning a local campaign would include some combination of: A) access to piles of money, and B) the goodwill of an army of grassroots volunteers. If A is lacking, it must be made up for with B, and vice versa. Presumably, even without this lawsuit, the LCDC would have to consider carefully where to allocate money and labor for the many races taking place. Now, that calculation will be more complex, especially if Allman remains the nominee. And to the extent that Allman was going to be responsible for coming up with most of his campaign resources anyway, as all candidates are, it will be interesting to see whether he will draw money, or activists, or both.

From an outsider’s perspective, the situation has a surreal aspect to it – mainly because of the logistical nightmare facing the LCDC, but also because of the surprise factor in learning Larry Roeder is accused of wanting the sheriff’s job. That would seem to contradict his public image.

But for an already-bizarre campaign that has been conducted more in newspaper comment sections than anywhere else (in fact, if you search the Web, most of the statements you can find from Brian Allman regarding the campaign are newspaper comments), maybe surreal is the new normal.

In April, the Loudoun Times-Mirror reported that Allman has filed at least 25 civil lawsuits over the past few decades. In the course of one case, he allegedly repeatedly referred to an opposing attorney using a term for a part of the female anatomy.

The Times-Mirror asked Suzdak, the LCDC chair, about that allegation against Allman, and Suzdak said it “wasn’t something that raised to the level of major concern to me where I felt like he wouldn’t be able to be a strong candidate and be able to do the job as sheriff when he gets elected …. We’re happy to have him as the nominee and we’re looking forward to November.”

Presumably the LCDC’s nomination procedure is being rethought and its level-of-concern meter has been recalibrated.

Author: FirewallNOVA Right

While my goal is simply to report the truth, the truth tends to have a rightward slant.

10 thoughts on “Brian Allman Lawsuit Creates Multiple Headaches For Loudoun Democrats”

  1. This posting was written by FirewallNOVA Right who, in accordance with our standing agreement, posts what he wants to, without needing my approval (just as I post what I want to, without needing his approval). That said, I think it’s a fairly sympathetic statement, with some sensible questions.

    Larry Roeder and I don’t always see things eye-to-eye, but I do hope he can resolve this cheaply and quickly.

  2. Allman’s language was not obscene and not a violation of law so says the Court of Appeals of Virginia.

    The LCDC is a whole 200 members. They certainly do not speak for democrats in Loudoun County.

    To accuse someone of a felony is defamatory and actionable in Virginia. Roeder better hire himself a very good lawyer because he is going to need one.

    The law in Virginia is clear. Allman is the nominee and LCDC can’t do a damn thing about it except not support him which would violate the oath each one of them took to join the LCDC.

    Roeder wanted to run for Sheriff and developed a plan which backfired according to Allman’s lawsuit. Now, Roeder is a defendant in a 2.7 million dollar defamation lawsuit. The LCDC has $19,000.00 in the bank. That won’t help Roeder must for his legal fees
    will be substantially more than that.

    The real question is this? Did Roeder act alone?

    1. I’m not currently a member of the LCDC, but I was for many years. During all of that time, there was no oath or any requirement that members support their party’s nominees. The party rules forbid a member from supporting anyone who is running against a Democratic nominee (or anyone the LCDC endorses). That’s a far cry from requiring that members support the nominees.

  3. Well, Steve, if the Democrats’ oath carries more binding force than the Republicans’ “pledge” then that is a beautiful thing for Mr. Allman. On the Republican side, the pledge is worth approximately one drop of warm spit, which some LCRC pledgers may prove yet again in the near future.

  4. Well, it meant something to Eric Noble! Who knows how much it meant to Sheriff Chapman since his road signs are “green” when Republicans use “red”?

    It clearly appears that Steve Simpson, after rejoining the Republican party a few months ago is going to leave them high
    and dry again?

    It appears that all Allman wanted to do was to join LCDC and Roeder, because he wanted to run for Sheriff, defamed him according to Allman’s lawsuit. Allman was previous member of the Fairfax County Democratic Party before he moved to Loudoun County to run for Sheriff.

    Things will get very interesting from here onward!

  5. To Firewall Left!

    Before you write anything stupid, like you did, why didn’t you just go to the LCDC website and print out their 2014 – 2015 entitled; “Declaration of Candidacy for Membership of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee”.

    “Pursuant to Article 1, section 3 of the Bylaws of the Loudoun County, I swear……and to do all within my power to aid in the victory of the Democratic Party’s nominees and other candidates endorsed by LCDC in all elections”.

    This is the oath that all LCDC members must take!

    Clearly, they violate their oath when it came to Allman!

    1. No need to be rude, Steve Austin. Like I said, I’m not a member. That oath wasn’t a requirement then and I’d be rather surprised if they are making members take it now, since I know of more than one who wouldn’t abide by it. Moreover, it would be a conflict with the state’s party rules (see section 10.10, for example).

      As written, it appears to be an attempt to convert what their bylaws imposed upon the committee as a collective obligation into an individual obligation, which is not the same thing. Regardless, if a person takes an oath, they ought to abide by it, even if it turns out the oath wasn’t something they had to take. However, I think you are jumping to conclusions when you say that, “clearly,” anyone violated their oath.

      Very interesting bit of local initiative on their part. I wonder if the members all know they have this hanging over them.

  6. I do not believe Larry had any intention of running for Sheriff. I am an LCDC member all I know is that Mr. Allman name came up for nomination, last night, as a member of LCDC and nobody said a word, No endorsement, no second, just silence. I do not know what Mr Allman’s agenda or would I dare question his motives. I left the meeting last month before any of this transpired. I just think that running for Sheriff as a Democrat, one would think that one would embrace the people that could help you get elected. Is this a prudent strategy? We will find out in November.

  7. Thanks for the input, Steven. I just saw your comment after posting the new article which touches on the same topic. There seems to be a lot of bad feeling over there right now. Maybe everyone can take a step back?

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