InsideNOVA is reporting that Prince William County’s (apparently now former) assistant planning director Ray Utz was arrested Wed., Nov. 19 on charges of indecent exposure after police received not one, but TWO calls from women reporting that a man driving a vehicle registered to Utz was exposing himself to them at stoplights in Woodbridge and Lake Ridge. He was officially charged with “two counts of indecent exposure and two counts of obscene sexual display.”
Readers of Virginia Virtucon may recall that Virtucon has been writing about Utz’s alleged sexual harassment issues for 5 1/2 years, so the fact that he has been arrested on such charges is not the least bit surprising.
GUEST POST: Latest Ray Utz Scandal – 3/13/11
(My, how prescient that first headline “PWC Planning Office Sexual Harassment Scandal EXPOSED!” was in light of these charges…)
We have detailed sexual harassment claims against Utz dating back to as early as 2006 via a memo written to then-Planning Commissioner Kim Hosen by women who attended an April 23, 2008 Planning Commission meeting who were appalled by Utz’s treatment of her during the meeting and alluded to conditions allegedly faced by female employees in his office over the course of the previous two years. In addition, we published a January 26, 2009 letter to the Prince William County’s Human Resources Dept. detailing “the indignity, humiliation, abuse and non-professional experience [women] have suffered working at the Planning Office under Ray Utz” and that goes on to allege various abuses and unethical behavior in detail as well as corroborating statements and information for the allegations contained in the memo to Hosen.
If these past allegations and the new charges prove to be true, then this would seem to indicate an escalation in this man’s behavior to the point this week where he had become so reckless that he was daring to be caught. He was arrested after he was alleged to have done this during the middle of the day at the intersection of Gideon Drive and Smoketown Road in Woodbridge and the Old Bridge Road at Mohican Drive intersection in Lake Ridge. That would seem to be the sign of a sick, sick individual if this is accurate.
Perhaps just as disturbing as his alleged behavior over the years is the fact that Prince William County was made aware of these problems in 2008 and again in 2009. Not only did they do nothing about it (other than sweep it under the rug and cover it up), but they chose to keep him on staff and then promote him to a plum position without engaging in a competitive search for the post despite both county board Chairman Corey Stewart and County Exec. Melissa Peacor claiming that all vacancies are publicly advertised and filled competitively. Utz was already one of the county’s highest paid employees earning in excess of $100,000 in his previous position before his promotion.
In light of the lengthy public record of allegations against Utz and now his arrest, Stewart and Peacor must be made to answer for their decisions regarding Utz and be held accountable for their actions as well.
Voters should not renominate nor return Stewart to the chairmanship in 2015 (nor should they elect Democrat Rick Smith – formerly known as the blogger “Mitch Cumstein” in the early days of Virginia Virtucon and on the old Too Conservative blog – as he is chairman of the taxpayer boondoggle known as the Hylton Perfoming Arts Center that is at the center of a whole other set of county scandals, but that is another story for another day.)
An interesting aside – according to the InsideNOVA article, Prince William County’s assistant planning director chose to live not in Prince William County, but in Fredericksburg despite being one of the county’s highest paid employees and being able to afford to live in PWC. Obviously he either knows something that the rest of us don’t or else he knows what a lot of us already do and that our county property taxes are too high and our county government wastes our tax dollars with reckless abandon. My guess is that it is a little of both.