Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Attack on Newton backfires as Planning Commission chair demands retraction of "false" accusations

Rockville Planning Commission Chair and practicing attorney Don Hadley has forcefully responded to "grossly, recklessly and intentionally false" accusations made about him by Team Rockville mayoral candidate Sima Osdoby, and Chevy Chase blogger David Lublin. In a letter Monday, Hadley put both "on notice" regarding the allegations, which Lublin doubled down on yesterday by posting an Osdoby press release to his Seventh State blog.

Former Rockville mayor Steven Van Grack was also the subject of attack in the press release, which was supposed to be a critique of incumbent Mayor Bridget Newton's alleged "conflicts of interest."

But Hadley's response appears to demolish the allegations - and those allegations may have backfired, with consequences that extend beyond today's Mayor and Council election.

For starters, Hadley notes that he was nominated to the Planning Commission in 2010 by then-mayor Phyllis Marcuccio, not Newton, who had no such nominating power when she was a councilmember in that year.

More to the point, Hadley declares that he, in fact, has "never been a business partner with [Fred] Newton or Mayor Newton, directly or indirectly, in any project or enterprise." His involvement as an attorney as it related to a property developed by Newton's husband was merely an "arms-length settlement" for the transaction, Hadley wrote. "I am not in business with Mr. Newton in any way, [and] the seller conducted the historic designation process [for 408 Great Falls Road] prior to Mr. Newton becoming interested in the property," he added.

Hadley and the Newtons are not even "close family friends," as was alleged, Hadley said.

He concludes his letter by warning Osdoby and Lublin that his law practice and reputation may have been damaged by their allegations, and that he is already receiving calls regarding the charges that are taking time from his work. Hadley urges them to retract their statements, and says he will "look to you and and those participating with you for damages incurred."

"All of this is done by you on election eve for the cynical purpose of immediate political and personal gain," Hadley wrote to Osdoby and Lublin.

Rockville voters go to the polls today to elect a mayor and four councilmembers. You can find your polling place here. 

Not registered to vote in Rockville? You can register today at your polling place, and still vote today.

Still deciding who to vote for today? Click on the "Election 2015" tag at the bottom of this post (desktop browser version) to read all of the election and debate coverage here on Rockville Nights.

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