I was raised in Virginia Beach and I know the Cavalier Hotel very well. It is a dusty jewel which many have been slobbering over for years and years. This doesn’t surprise me in the least.
Local crony capitalism is rampant all across this country. If you really want to get angry go into your county records and look up who was gifted what property and by whom in your home town. In areas of relatively recent development there are often abuses which happen right out in the open. But no one thinks anyone will say anything.
(From Bacon’s Rebellion)
Arlington County had its $1 million bus stop scandal. The City of Richmond had its mayoral cronyism scandal. Now Virginia Beach has its Cavalier Hotel redevelopment scandal. The FBI has undertaken a criminal investigation of a vote by Councilman John Uhrin in favor of providing $18 million in city funds to subsidize redevelopment of the landmark Cavalier Hotel. Days later, his wife Catherine Sassone was hired to sell luxury properties associated with the project. Uhrin has said he did not know when he voted that his wife would be hired.
I have no idea if Uhrin is guilty of anything — I have not followed the controversy closely enough to have an informed opinion — but I do admire how Virginia Beach residents residents are responding to the revelations. A group of about 25 citizens who believe “the taxpayers of Virginia Beach have been pushed aside for too long” have banded together to dredge up public records, publish them online and expose the crony capitalism at the heart of Virginia Beach governmnet. The result is The Document Project:
Good on you Virginia Beach. Good on you.