The Purcellville Town Council met for two hours in closed session tonight to discuss an undisclosed threat allegedly made against Councilwoman Kelli Grim.
The special meeting came four days after the council attempted to meet in an emergency session to discuss the issue. On Monday, however, the council majority ruled that the situation did not constitute an emergency that would justify holding the session without the typical three days of advanced public notice required by Virginia’s open meeting laws.
No details about the nature or severity of the alleged threat have been released or publicly discussed.
After reconvening tonight in a special session, Vice Mayor Karen Jimmerson made the motion to discuss the performance and possible disciplinary action of an unidentified town employee in closed session.
Councilman Doug McCollum cast the lone vote against the motion. He said the investigation the council was trying to conduct was unlikely to be accomplished within the narrow legal parameters of the closed session rules and likely exceeded the council’s statutory authority. Instead, he suggested the town retain an outside counsel to review the issue and make a report to the director of human resources, who could then make a recommendation the town manager. He said that would allow Town Council and the staff to focus on legislative issues and the upcoming town budget talks. No councilmember supported that suggestion.
In closed session, the council met with Town Manager Robert W. Lohr Jr. and Town Attorney Sally Hankins for two hours.
After reconvening in the council chambers, Grim said that she was “more disturbed” than before. “There are more unanswered questions,” she said, also claiming the council was not privy to all the information and not equipped to investigate the situation.
She made a motion that the town confer with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and seek to have the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation review the case. In her comments, Grim revealed a little about the nature of the issue, but referred to two emails from a former town employee and two anonymous emails.
No other member of the council supported Grim’s request and her motion died.
The council then adjourned the meeting without further comment.