Let us examine certain facts, all obtainable in the public record or previously reported in the press:
Recently elected Alexandria City Councilwoman Alicia Hughes failed to register her personal automobile in Alexandria or apply for and obtain a Virginia driver’s license within the time required by Virginia law. Indeed, she was a year late. Hughes was registered to vote in both Maryland and Virginia for a period of time. Hughes claimed a tax benefit on her property in Baltimore during a period which she also claims to have been living in Alexandria, meaning she either falsely claimed the exemption in Maryland OR she did not legally live in Alexandria, because the exemption required residence at the place in Baltimore. The State of Maryland has since required that Hughes repay the amount of the wrongly claimed exemption. Hughes claimed to be Miss Black USA from 1998-2000, but I emailed the director of the Miss Black USA pageant myself because at this point, if Alicia Hughes told me the sky was blue, I would feel compelled to step outside and check.
This was my email to Karen Arrington, director of the Miss Black USA pageant, which I sent on June 28, 2009:
“Who was Miss Black USA 1998-2000? Thank you”
This is the response I received from Miss Arrington about one hour later:
“We did not have a pagant (sic) from 1998-2000.”
I sent another email to Ms. Arrington, as follows:
“Thank you for your quick response, Ms. Arrington. Alicia Hughes, formerly of Texas and then Florida, now of Alexandria, Virginia, claims to have reigned as Miss Black USA 1998-2000. I thought you should be aware. She was just elected to the Alexandria City Council and told everyone that she was Miss Black USA 1998-2000. It’s on her campaign site, as well as on several personal profiles she has posted to various sites.”
This was the quick, same day response I received from Ms. Arrington:
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will take appropriate action. Thanks again.”
Hughes has been sued in Texas, Maryland and Virginia for unpaid mortgage/rent. Hughes has been sued in Florida for unpaid debt to the University of Miami School of Law. Not only that, but Hughes defaulted on a subsequent settlement agreement with the University of Miami. In the meantime, she bought real property (the house in Baltimore) and acquired a Mercedes-Benz luxury automobile (I don’t know if the automobile is owned or leased, or how much, if any, is owed on the car).
According to her own filed, signed, publicly available campaign finance reports, Hughes accepted a campaign donation from a fellow USPTO employee on March 4, Wednesday, a workday, which may be a Hatch Act violation, depending on the circumstances of the solicitation and acceptance of the contribution. There is also a donation from at least one other Federal Employee, and several donations lack required information on the reports, such as addresses.
Hughes is a law school graduate, but she is not a member of any state bar that I have found, and she refuses to answer questions publicly or privately about whether she ever practiced law or took a bar exam, calling such questions “irrelevant.” Such questions are certainly not irrelevant to me and to other voters I know. I took – and passed – two bar exams, and am admitted to practice law in two states and the District of Columbia. It matters to me whether someone who told people they were a lawyer took and passed the bar exam or not, because claiming to be a lawyer when you are not is against the law in every state. At the residency hearing at June 25th, which I attended, Hughes’ own attorney, Virginia Republican State Senator Jill Vogel, claimed to the hearing officer that Hughes was an attorney. Hughes then refused to answer any questions related to that claim and Vogel objected to such line of questioning.
I smell a rat. The citizens of Alexandria have been duped. Alicia Hughes is a fraud. The chair of the Alexandria Republican Party, Chris Marston, stated in a local newspaper article shortly before the City Council elections that Hughes was included on the Republican “Plunkee the Elephant” sample ballot because they – the Alexandria Republican Committee – had vetted her.
For those among you who are conspiracy theorists and believe that the “liberals” in Alexandria are out to “get” Alicia Hughes – allow me to state for the record that I am NOT a member of the Alexandria Democratic Committee and although I almost always vote a straight Democratic ticket, I crossed party lines and cast a vote for Republican Frank Fannon in the May 5, 2009 City Council Elections.
I will never again believe a single word Chris Marston or the Alexandria Republican Committee says, and I will never vote for another Republican in Alexandria, including Frank Fannon, unless and until the Alexandria Republican Committee publicly renounces and denounces Alicia Hughes and demands her resignation from the Alexandria City Council.
Should any Alexandria citizen begin the petition process to remove Hughes pursuant to Virginia law, I should be honored to be among the first to sign. Virginia law allows citizens who collect signatures from registered voters equal to 10% of the total number of votes cast in the election to petition the court for removal of an elected official who represents them. The court may then remove the official in the event of “neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties.” I would maintain that Hughes is incompetent in performing the most basic duty of her office, to wit, telling the truth.