Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun

Man Sought

<bt>The Sheriff's Office is investigating a report of a male subject who allegedly inappropriately touched a 5-year-old child while she was shopping with her mother in a Sterling store Saturday, June 9.

According to the 5-year-old, an unknown white male approached her in the toy section of the Burlington Coat Factory in the Community Plaza. The incident occurred around 1 p.m. but authorities were not contacted about the incident until after 8 p.m. the same evening.

The suspect is described as a white male, 35 to 45 years old. He was wearing a white, short-sleeved polo shirt, blue jeans, white sneakers and a baseball cap.

Anyone with information about the identity of this suspect is asked to call Investigator A. Harper of the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475. If the caller wishes to remain anonymous, call Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919. If the information leads to an arrest and indictment, the caller could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

<sh>Libraries Close

<bt>All branches of the Loudoun County Public Library will be closed for staff development day Friday, June 15. The branches will reopen Saturday, June 16, at 10 a.m. Visit www.lcpl.lib.va.us.

<sh>Public Input Meeting

<bt>Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (I-At large) will hold a public input meeting, Thursday, June 21, to allow for public comment on transportation funding bill HB 3202 and the possible implementation of regional taxes by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA). York, who represents Loudoun County on the NVTA and serves as its treasurer, was recently appointed chair of the Authority’s finance working group.

HB 3202, signed by Gov. Tim Kaine (D) in April, will allow for regional control of transportation projects in both Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. The new bill allows for a mix of possible new funding that could raise $350 million to $400 million per year to be spent on local projects.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., in the Board of Supervisors Room on the first floor of the Government Center, 1 Harrison St., S.E., Leesburg. Following a presentation by York, time will be given to the public to make comment. Each speaker will be allotted two minutes.

For further information, contact York at 703-577-7666

<sh>Public Comment Sought

<bt>The Sheriff's Office is accepting public comment on a grant application to the U.S. Department of Justice. On May 17, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance announced the availability of grant funds to state and local governments through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG).

The grant funding distribution is based on crime statistics as well as law-enforcement expenditure data. Out of the $8,998,272 allocated to 45 jurisdictions in Virginia and the Department of Criminal Justice Services, Loudoun County is due to receive $30,653.

One of the grant requirements is that an opportunity to comment would be provided to the public concerning the grant and the individual jurisdiction's plan for the award. The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office will submit an application requesting to utilize the full award to purchase emergency response equipment such as automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for the Field Operations Division Comments may be directed to Sgt. Eric Prugh at eric.prugh@loudoun.gov.

<sh>Guilty Plea

<bt>A South Riding resident and former Loudoun County employee pled guilty Wednesday, June 6, to failing to disclose material facts in order to make himself eligible for the county’s affordable housing program, according to the Sheriff's Office.

In July 2004 Shaning Yu, 53, purchased a single-family home in South Riding through the Loudoun County Affordable Dwelling Unit program, which is designed to provide affordable rental and for-sale housing to all citizens with priority given to income eligible residents who live or work in the county. Yu did not disclose on his application his previous home ownership and additional assets he held in the form of Certificates of Deposit (CDs). The property, which he owned within three years of his application, and the CDs would have made him ineligible for the program.

Yu pleaded to a misdemeanor of making false statements or failure to disclose material facts in order to obtain aid or benefits under and local, state or federal housing assistance program. He was sentenced to one year in jail with all but 60 days suspended. As part of the plea, Yu has also agreed to return the home to the housing program.

Yu is a former county employee, having worked in the county Mapping Information office. The Sheriff’s Office received information of the possible criminal matter in August 2006. Yu was charged in November 2006. The Sheriff's Office is working with the county's Department of Family Services, Housing Division, in an effort to identify and prosecute individuals defrauding government-funded housing programs in the county.

<sh>Bond Rating Reaffirmed

<bt>Loudoun County’s triple-A bond ratings have been reaffirmed by all three major bond rating agencies. Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings issued the ratings in advance of the sale of $235 million in general obligation public improvement and refunding bonds on May 30.

<sh>New Law Protects Privacy

<bt>New legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly will allow clerks of Circuit Court in Virginia to enact programs to protect private information.

The new law, which becomes effective July 1, will require any clerk of Circuit Court that provides a remote access system to land records to develop a program to remove social security numbers from the public land records provided through a remote access system. This new law does not allow a clerk to remove social security numbers from the original records in the courthouse.

The remote access systems develop by clerks of Circuit Court are mandated by the General Assembly to provide better access to professional who research deeds and land records information. All clerks of circuit court must provide remote access systems by July 2008.

<sh>County Receives Award

<bt>Loudoun County's telework program has been recognized as the top local government telework program in the nation by the Telework Exchange, a public-private partnership that focuses on demonstrating the value of telework initiatives.

Loudoun County received a Tele-Vision Award for its program, which makes teleworking an option for all county employees, including part-time, full-time and temporary workers. In the last year, participation among nonpublic safety employees has grown to more than 14 percent with nearly 300 workers signing telework agreements to work part-time or full-time from home.