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Saturday, July 07, 2012

What's Going On In Botetourt County?

Should the court system involve itself in a witch hunt?

Welcome to Botetourt County:
Botetourt defamation defendant jailed after refusing judge’s order
By Duncan Adams, The Roanoke Times

Botetourt County resident Danny H. Goad refused to comply this morning with a Botetourt County Circuit judge’s order to answer a question relevant to a civil lawsuit in which Goad is a defendant and ended up jailed without bond for contempt of court.

Judge Michael Irvine had ordered Goad to answer a deposition question that had asked who had helped him distribute fliers in early October that were critical of former Lord Botetourt High School Principal Tim Bane, who no longer works for Botetourt County Public Schools.

On the witness stand today, Goad continued to refuse to name who had helped him distribute the fliers at a home football game and two churches in the county. His son, Cullen D. Goad, is a co-defendant in the civil case and was allegedly one of the distributors.

Bane and his attorney Bill Cleaveland filed a lawsuit Dec. 5 that alleged the fliers included defamatory material about Bane that had damaged his reputation and profession, and caused "shame, embarrassment and humiliation." It sought $75,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages.

Today, Danny Goad said he refused to answer the question because he took full responsibility for the fliers’ distribution and did not want to involve others.

Irvine told Goad he can get out of jail by complying with the court order and responding to the question asked by Cleaveland. [link]

My guess is, if pursued, the judge's ruling that the defendant in this case do the work for his adversary and name those who helped distribute leaflets about a public official (which is Constitutionally protected last time I looked) would be thrown out by wiser jurists.  But what do I know.  I'm just a citizen.

For detail on this affair ...

Danny Goad sits in jail for refusing to implicate others in a civil case. My, oh my.