Next Tuesday, Purcellville voters will head to the polls to cast votes for mayor and three Town Council seats. The campaigns have focused on the town’s fiscal health and growth, but for the past several days the debate has been on the question: Did she or didn’t she?
On Thursday, town businessman Casey Chapman lodged a formal complaint against incumbent Councilwoman Karen Jimmerson with Town Manager Robert W. Lohr Jr.
The town businessman alleged that during the Purcellville Business Association’s April 12 candidates’ luncheon Jimmerson made an offensive hand gesture toward him. Chapman’s brother, Sam Chapman, is running for a council seat on May 3.
In his complaint, Casey Chapman alleged that the incident occurred after an exchange he was having with Jimmerson about the use of social media posts.
Acknowledging that Jimmerson had the right to her own opinion, Chapman nevertheless said in his complaint that, as an elected official, she is held to the town’s Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics. Lohr forwarded Casey Chapman’s complaint to council for its consideration.
Jimmerson categorically denied the accusation and on Friday, April 22, formally requested that Lohr release Chapman’s letter, saying the allegation was clearly without merit. She accused Chapman of defamation and libel.
Monday morning, Jimmerson issued a statement accusing “some of the candidates running for town council” whom she does not support of having “falsely alleged that I gave a vulgar hand gesture during a public forum and luncheon.”
Jimmerson again unequivocally denied making such a gesture, and accused the candidates of attempting to discredit her as an elected official and the candidates she supports in the May 3 election.