Monday, July 03, 2006

Barber's better angels?

The story of Ed Barber’s fall from grace in Chesterfield County is sad. There’s yet another Barber piece on the front page of today’s Metro Section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. That link will take the reader to the latest story, and to more links there to a list of Barber-related stories that have run since the news broke on Dec. 30, 2005, that he had been charged with committing sex crimes involving a minor.

On June 29, 2006 there was this in the RT-D:

“Chesterfield County Supervisor Edward B. Barber pleaded guilty yesterday to two misdemeanor sexual battery charges involving his teenage stepdaughter. His sentence includes no jail time, and he said he intends to continue to serve on the Board of Supervisors...”

Until he was convicted, Barber, 50, deserved the benefit of doubt. Which meant choosing to remain on the Board was his prerogative. However, his decision to remain on the Board afterwards is one that should not fly.

Forget about whether it’s technically permissible for him to stay on. (Why that’s possible with such a conviction is outrageous!) Forget about whether there’s some political benefit that could possibly be squeezed out of his staying for some period of time. Decency demands that he step down and get his name out of the newspaper.

No Chesterfield County parent should have to explain to their child how a person convicted of such crimes doesn’t have the decency to go away, and why the county’s rules allow for him to stay.

That Barber apprently needs to be told that he can't possibly stay on, without it being a constant problem is somewhat baffling. After all, he's had months to contemplate what his options would be, upon conviction. Obviously, the outcry is only going to swell as long as he refuses to stop ... stop and listen to his better angels, for a change.


Anonymous said...

It just goes to show that Chesterfield is no better than the City of Richmond when it comes to electing people with no moral compass.

This guy's a scumbag, and his buddies in the club that are "standing by" his decision to stay are scumbags just the same. At least this time they've identified themselves so we'll all know, and can remind each other whenever they try to assume their "moral high ground."

Anonymous said...

If Barber has trouble hearing those angels, then a loud group of concerned citizens protesting the supervisors' meeting can increase the decibel level.

F.T. Rea said...

Anonymous (7:35),

Perhaps such a demonstration is what it's going to take to persuade Barber to do the only decent thing left to him at this point -- say, "I'm sorry," and go away.

I suppose his thinking that he can stay on the Board, simply because the law allows for it, shows just how twisted he has become. That anyone in the county would agree with him, for whatever purpose or convenience, strikes me as being beyond the pale.

VaHokie said...

I have worked with Ed Barber in the past. I felt the allegations were false. But when he took a plea, that changed everything. He should resign immediately. I'm not going to stand for having a registered sex offender as my supervisor.

F.T. Rea said...


Maybe three months ago, I listened to a friend of mine tell me how he'd known Ed Barber for decades, and that charges could not be true. This is a sad story ... it needs to go away.