Letter – Another ‘stunt’ from Vines
Published 6:11 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
The absurdity of Michael Vines knows no bounds. His latest stunt: a federal lawsuit claiming millions in damages for losing an election he publicly admitted he put forth no effort to win.
By law, Mr. Vines was required to disclose any income he received from employers through a statement of economic interest. Below is a brief history of Mr. Vines’ employment claims:
- Oct. 15, 2021: In an email to the Isle of Wight County School Board, Mr. Vines declares his interest in being appointed to the board and states his current employment as a senior network engineer. In a resume attached to the email, he claims employment as a “Business Systems Manager.”
- Dec. 13, 2021: He claims no employment on his economic interest statement.
- Jan. 15, 2022/March 29, 2022: He claims no employment currently or since Dec. 13, 2021, on his updated economic interest statement. The January date is typed on the form; the March date is when he signed the form.
- Feb. 8, 2022: He publicly claims to make over $100,000 per year as an IT manager in a Town Hall meeting.
Clearly, at some point, Mr. Vines was not truthful regarding his employment.
Additionally, there is the question of Mr. Vines signing his economic interest statement(s). Mr. Vines and his attorney are cautious in court and legal filings never to claim that Mr. Vines signed the December 2021 form. Instead, they stated the public did not have a right to know whether he signed it, a dubious interpretation of FOIA.
I first discovered the issue buried in a 198-page FOIA response that includes over 30 redactions but clearly shows Mr. Vines’ signature block blank, not redacted. A separate FOIA of the second economic interest statement shows a redacted signature dated March 29, 2022, the same day as the court hearing for the first removal petition hearing, despite the document being turned in on Jan. 31, 2022.
I don’t know what the Sheriff’s Department did for an investigation or what it determined. However, in Virginia, there is no statute of limitations on most felonies, so maybe it would be best for all to thoroughly investigate this debacle starting in October 2021 and publicly announce the findings.