Progress: Case May Impact Robb’s Election

Charlottesville’s hotshot investigative reporter Reed Williams has a lengthy story in today’s Progress about lying ex-deputy Stephen Shiflett, including interviews with candidates for Albemarle Sheriff, ex-sheriffs, and anonymous sources close to the case. Sheriff Edgar Robb acknowledges that his actions and those of also-Republican Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Camblos look suspicious, but insists that the two are not in cahoots. One of Robb’s opponents in the November election questions Robb’s judgement in hiring the “cop with an attitude”, which Robb has defended by saying that Shiflett was not only quite punctual, but had never actually been convicted of a crime. (It was a civil suit that Shiflett lost while a Louisa deputy, not a criminal case.) Concludes retired county detective and former deputy Donald Byers, “it’s kind of hard for me to understand that there’s not enough evidence for him to be charged.” Be sure to read the whole story for all of the details.

8 Responses to “Progress: Case May Impact Robb’s Election”


  • I’m impressed. I’ve quite underestimated the tenacity of the Progress. It’s long been the realm of C-Ville and The Hook to engage in this type of reporting. The recent follow-up article surprised me, but this one simply floored me.

  • How long will the Albemarle Police Dept. be permitted to get away with dismissing press inquiries with a "no comment"? It seems to me that, either somebody shot a law enforcement officer and there ought to be an ongoing heavy-duty investigation until they come up with a shooter, or a law enforcement officer made a false report and there ought to be an ongoing heavy-duty investigation until they come up with evidence to press charges. Either way, it’s a serious crime. It looks to me like the police have put this one to bed, though.

    If, as we are led to believe, Deputy Shiflett, wasn’t telling the truth, Edgar Robb has a lot to answer for. This guy didn’t come to Albemarle with a clean employment history. It would appear that the sheriff isn’t much of a judge of character.

    Kudos to Reed Williams for staying on this story.

  • I think the indignation here is righteous, but somewhat misplaced. While Robb’s hiring judgment was poor, isn’t it the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s charging decision that’s the main issue here – or rather, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s non-charging decision? Why not more furor over Jim Camblos’ conduct (or lack thereof)?

  • "Why not more furor over Jim Camblos’ conduct (or lack thereof)?"

    I agree!!!!!! Definitely something slightly shady going on there….

  • I couldn’t agree more with regard to Camblos. I haven’t brought it up thus far, because I haven’t taken the time to develop a coherent thesis for why Camblos’ (in)actions trouble me, but I did make a point of including Robb’s defensive statement regarding him and Camblos working together to cover something up. I want to know who accused them of doing so in the first place, because I don’t recall anybody making any such accusations.

    Methinks they doth protest too much.

  • People need to get it straight. Me thinks there’s a lot of double-standards in everyone’s minds.

    Is this a big deal?

    In *my* mind, it’s a big deal, but no more, say, than the daily extortion on every speed-trapped road in the Commonwealth. No more than people being issued tickets for not having seat belts or booster seats for children under 6. Hasn’t anybody taken notice SCHOOL BUSES don’t have seat belts? That these antiquated vehicles spew out more toxic exhaust than maybe 10 SUVs or 20 regular cars?

    Doesn’t anybody know hospitals bill double or triple to the uninsured for the same services rendered to those backed by powerful insurance conglomerates?

    Where’s the outrage when county judges habitually take children away from their fathers just because it’s presumed mothers are better care-givers?

    Isn’t anybody paying attention to the decomposition of the very fabric of American politics, business ethics, social and individual mores?

    So, Officer Shiflett shot a round in his own vest, presumably. Sheriff Robb hired this alleged small-time crook and Attorney General Camblos won’t move on this because who knows why, maybe personal relations and dealings, similar to the rest of the state of the union.

    Yeah, this is not good. Yeah, this is a big deal. But although I will no doubt appear like a rambling anarchist on the street corner proclaiming Dooms Day, as I’ve been told, this is only a glimpse at the real world, as it exists today. Sorry, there’s not enough here to be outraged as far as I’m concerned. But again, I applaud Cornelius and Williams for keeping the faith I no longer have.

  • Officer Shiflett shot a round in his own vest, presumably.

    I wonder. If he’d shot it from his service revolver, it would be extremely simple to determine that. (Powder on the vest [he apparently had a “large red welt” on his torso], the bullet’s markings would match those from his gun, he’d be down one bullet, etc.) Then, virtually no information about this case has been released, so who knows?

    Hasn’t anybody taken notice SCHOOL BUSES don’t have seat belts?

    FWIW, tests have been done with putting belts in buses. It turns out that it’s much more dangerous to have them than not to have them. Leaving heavy metal things attached to strong lengths of fabric is bad when kids are looking for weapons. But the really dangerous thing is that kids are apt to wear lap belts wrong, which can result in serious injuries in otherwise-minor accidents. Buses are so large that accidents sufficiently severe to injure or On average, a dozen each year. Compartmentalization — that is, keeping kids in seats with lots of padding in front and behind them — has proven to be much safer than seatbelts.

    Check out DOT/NHTSA’s report on the topic, resulting from the 1985 schoolbus seatbelt test.

  • Look I’m not going to discuss obsolete and self-serving 20 year-old studies. My point is that you may chose to swat at one of the flies on the mound of shit, and good for you! But that’s not going to keep the kaka from smelling.

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