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The list of the candidate’s past legal woes surfaced as part of an intraparty disagreement.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
In an effort to quash a flurry of election-cycle rumors about past legal troubles, Brian Lang, the Democratic candidate for a seat on the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors, decided Monday to address his critics head-on.
Holding a leaflet that had been anonymously distributed across the Hollins District, Lang was adamant in defending his ability to lead, despite a page-long list of 32 court cases he’s faced between 2002 and 2013. The list included traffic infractions, tax liens and garnishments, among others.
“Unfortunately there are those who wish to cast me … in a negative light,” Lang said. “I have made some errors in the past and have corrected them. All of these have been paid or resolved.”
The most glaring item on the list was a 2011 tax lien from the Internal Revenue Service for more than $104,000. The list was distributed without context, Lang said. He added that the IRS lien was a paperwork error that has since been corrected.
As for numerous traffic infractions that include speeding, failing to maintain a legal vehicle inspection status and failing to obey a signal, Lang said, “None involved any accidents nor reckless driving, all were paid.”
In an email to a Roanoke Times reporter late Monday, former Democratic Party Chairman Richard Evans took partial credit for the list, adding that he had help from many others.
Until recently, Lang and Evans were embroiled in a civil lawsuit over an intraparty dispute over leadership.
“I am not perfect,” Lang emphasized. “I take responsibility for my errors, and I think it’s sorry that somebody’s dragging this up.”
He also challenged his opponents to run positive campaigns.
Gary Jarrell, an independent running for the same seat, said he has been approached by Evans.
“I understand that he’s got fish to fry there,” Jarrell said. “I’ve told him that I need to be separated, that I don’t want to be involved in that.”
He added that he has run a positive campaign, but believes the public has the right to know about a candidate’s legal and financial past.
Republican Al Bedrosian echoes Jarrell’s comments.
“I do think these are important issues,” he said. “Everybody’s life is open and everybody is accountable for the things they do.”
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