Whistleblowing in Augusta County: Supervisor Seaton Accuses Officials of Criminal Conduct - Audio
Written by: Sam Orlando
AUGUSTA COUNTY, VA - As Breaking Through reported earlier today, Wayne District Supervisor Dr. Scott Seaton launched an incendiary critique of county officials, accusing them of engaging in criminal conduct in a hastily called meeting of the County Supervisors. Breaking Through reporters were present, capturing the high-stakes confrontation as it unfolded.
Interestingly, while other media outlets were also in attendance, no reports concerning the shocking revelations made during the meeting have been published by other outlets as of press time. This conspicuous silence brings into question the transparency of the county's practices and the role of media outlets in reporting them.
Compounding the controversy, the county conspicuously failed to live-stream the session, a move that critics suggest significantly undermines the public's right to access governmental proceedings. This opaque maneuver in an already fraught situation could further erode public trust in the county's procedures.
In response to these challenges, Breaking Through remains committed to promoting transparency and accountability. In a rapid response, one of our reporters managed to capture a recording of Dr. Seaton's address when they realized the county had not activated the live-streaming equipment.
In the belief that it is of paramount importance for the public to hear Dr. Seaton's allegations directly, we present his address in full, offering an unvarnished view into the heated Board of Supervisors meeting. The proceedings, as chronicled in this recording, highlight the urgent need for accountable and transparent governance in Augusta County.
During an impassioned address to a special session of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Dr. Scott Seaton launched a severe critique of the county administration and its contentious handling of animal control fees.
"Our residents lost their rights to due process and possession of property over a revenue-generating scheme devised more than 20 years ago," Dr. Seaton began, shedding light on an ongoing issue which he asserts infringes upon the rights of county residents. "Who made the scheme? Who apparently knew of the illegality? And why wasn't the scheme stopped?" He asked, pinpointing the contentious issue that catalyzed the meeting—an alleged illegal fee system implemented by the county for managing stray animals.
Dr. Seaton accused the county administrators of a lack of transparency, asserting they concealed the illicit scheme from the Board of Supervisors. He emphasized the real-life consequences of this purported scheme, drawing attention to a dog that perished in March due to the county's fee and fine payment system.
Pointing the finger at the Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center, the county's animal shelter, Dr. Seaton critiqued its unique approach to fee collection. According to him, the shelter imposes unnecessary barriers that prevent pet owners from reclaiming their animals, a practice he suggested is designed to boost revenue.
In addition, Dr. Seaton questioned the shelter's relationship with the SPCA and the importation of out-of-state animals, which he alleges exacerbates the shelter's capacity issues.
Calling out the Board's decision to convene the meeting behind closed doors, Dr. Seaton suggested this move was an attempt to suppress his efforts to expose the county's supposed illegal activities. "If the meeting is about me, the meeting is in retaliation for revealing and pursuing transparency of this county's illegal activities and an attempt to suppress or intimidate my attempts to reveal county issues as part of my duties as a supervisor," Dr. Seaton contended.
The supervisor concluded his address by insisting that any endeavors to impede his investigations or suppress his opinions would constitute a violation of whistleblower laws designed to shield employees from employer retaliation.
Dr. Seaton's explosive allegations and call for transparency have inflamed an already contentious debate about the county's practices, potentially setting the stage for a heated election season.