Candland and Deutsch: Complicit in Forgery and Fraud?

Forgery: The process of making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics, or documents with the intent to deceive for the sake of altering public perception.

Fraud: Deliberate deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain.

Forgery and fraud, that’s what we’re talking about here.

At the Muckraker we haven’t been following the apparently eventful and sometimes ludicrously childish discussions going on about a replacement for the soon-to-be-deployed Brentsville School Board representative, Gil Trenum. We haven’t posted on the subject because it all seemed pretty straightforward to us. When a school board member resigns the school board appoints a replacement who sits until the next special election.

Gil Trenum’s case we’ve since learned is different, however. Since he’s being deployed for military service our understanding is that he doesn’t have to give up his seat. Someone can serve in his absence until he returns. In our opinion that person in fairness should be someone who serves as a de facto proxy for the duly-elected Trenum and therefore should be someone acceptable to him. As we understand it, Trenum has put forward several names. Unfortunately, when doing so he appears to have included a condition that has created a legal quagmire.

Understandably concerned that a Democratic majority on the School Board might not choose one of his suggested replacements, Trenum has apparently asserted that a replacement is only allowable if he requests one, and he is not willing to request one until the School Board agrees in advance to appoint one of his suggested individuals. That has raised the legal issue of who has the authority to require a replacement, the individual being deployed or the School Board. It seems to be an issue on which legal authorities disagree, and to avoid a lawsuit from an aggrieved party School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers wants to request an opinion from the Virginia Attorney General.

To us at the Muckraker it seems like a tempest in a teapot. It’s a shame that the School Board lacks the collegiality for Trenum to be comfortable that one of his suggestions would be appointed, but we really can’t blame him. After all, Pete Candland promised Corey Stewart that the BOCS wouldn’t vote on an important land use issue in the chairman’s absence, but then, with Stewart gone, Mac Haddow’s protégé, Vice Chair Pete Candland, promptly reneged on his public promise and called for a vote.

In our opinion it makes sense to get the Attorney General’s opinion to resolve the legal issue and protect the School Board from liability. Then, once the legal issue is resolved, appoint one of Trenum’s suggested replacements. It’s a heavily Republican district; the person is a de facto proxy for Trenum; appoint one of Trenum’s suggestions. Easy peasy, right? Well, it could have been. Then came the forgery and fraud.

With the backlog of submissions we already have, we don’t check our inbox as much as we probably should, but over the last couple of days we’ve received a number of screenshots and submissions about a memo posted by Coles School Board member Willie Deutsch and the Haddow-Candland Cabal house organ, the Sheriff of Nottingham smear blog. The memo purports to be from a consultant (dubbed by the Haddow-Candland cabal house organ as a “sleaze” consultant) to the Prince William County Democratic Committee. It advises the latter to engage in a convoluted strategy to appoint Democrat Don Shaw to the Brentsville School Board seat.

After checking with various sources and reviewing screenshots of the memo and related post in detail, one thing seems clear. THE MEMO IS A FORGERY.

According to sources in the Prince William County Democratic Committee, no one in the committee has ever seen the memo and they don’t believe it exists. But one need not take their word for it. The memo contains clear evidence of forgery. We’ve included screenshots of the memo at the end of this post so you can follow the analysis and judge for yourself. Signs of forgery include the following:

1. The Address

The first clue is the address. The memo is addressed to the Prince William County Democratic Committee. No professional consultant would address a memo like this to the Committee generically, as opposed to its Chair, one of its officers, or a member who had specifically requested an opinion. The forger probably did this to limit the likelihood of a lawsuit if a real person, who had never requested or seen such a memo, was named in the address.

2. The “From” Line

The “From” line is inexplicably blocked out. Although the Haddow-Candland cabal house organ claims this is a “leaked” and “confidential” memo, they have no reasonable explanation as to why the name of the so-called consultant would be blocked out. A leaker seeking to hurt the Democratic Party would presumably have no issues with hurting a Democratic consultant also. Again, the forger probably did this because listing a real consulting firm on the forged memo would likely result in a lawsuit from the real firm whose name was forged.

Equally noticeable is the very small amount of space blocked out in the line that supposedly contains the consultant’s name. It’s smaller than the date and looks like it would be unable to contain much of any information.

3. The Date

The date on the memo is June 17, 2016. It was during a meeting that went late into the evening of June 15 that Gil Trenum disclosed his plans to the School Board. The likelihood of Trenum’s decision being digested and communicated to a consultant, that consultant developing this convoluted strategy, and that consultant then putting it in writing and transmitting to the Prince William Democratic Committee on June 17, is marginal at best.

4. Contains Information Unknown on June 17

Also compelling is that the memo contains information that was not known on June 17. There are multiple references to Trenum’s nominees, for example. Yet, those nominees were not known on June 17 to anyone except Trenum. Although we may disagree with Trenum on some issues, we think he is an honorable person. He would never participate in forgery and fraud like this. The memo also mentions several legal issues that were also not known on June 17. All this means that the memo was clearly concocted some time after June 17.


The very serious question to be investigated is the identity of the forger who is trying to perpetrate this fraud on the public. This is no mere academic question. If the person who concocted the forgery is engaging in the deception to gain from it (e.g. secure a paid position on the School Board) or harm another, this could be a criminal offense.

The Haddow-Candland Cabal house organ, the Sheriff of Nottingham smear blog, is already notorious for printing lies and fabrications of their own making to benefit Pete Candland and his allies. They have even claimed in the past to possess documents that simply do not and never have existed. (It’s one of the reasons we here at the Muckraker so often include documents in our posts – to show that whatever you may think about our opinions, when it comes to issues of fact, we try to get them right and refuse to make them up.)

In their normal course of business mentioning a document like this might just be another day for the Haddow-Candland Cabal smear blog, but actually forging a document to defraud the public takes things to a whole new level of unethical and potentially illegal conduct. Even more egregious is that this is not confined to the Haddow-Candland Cabal smear blog. An elected official, Coles School Board Member Willie Deutsch, has actually posted and promoted the forgery. If Deutsch knows who wrote the memo and it actually is a Democratic consultant then his posting of it would be legitimate. But since it’s a forgery, that means he either knew it was a forgery or posted it without knowing its source. Either of the latter is a serious ethical breach for an elected official. In fact, it’s the kind that should disqualify them from office.

As this forgery first appeared on the Sheriff of Nottingham smear blog, we believe it likely originated with members of the Haddow-Candland cabal or was developed at their direction. It is consistent, in our opinion, with past activities and practices of both Mac Haddow and Reece Collins, who regular readers know we believe are the principal architects of the Sheriff of Nottingham smear blog (we also know the name of the person who had a role in setting up the blog, much as was done with the poor soul Haddow appears to have taken advantage of in setting up the precursor Gainesville Truth Squad blog for Candland’s benefit). We also find revealing the language in the following screenshot from the Sheriff blog post.


The second paragraph refers to a Democratic blog, claiming it has “already launched its full-throated attacks on the Trenum nominees to soften the ground . . . .” As we said earlier, here at the Muckraker, we haven’t been paying attention to this issue. We’ve never posted on the Trenum issue at all, much less on his suggested nominees. In addition, we’ve checked every other Democratic blog we know of and until this forgery came out, none of them had posted on Trenumn’s nominees either. It’s clear that the Haddow-Candland Cabal house organ just made this statement up as a way to buttress the memo. Is this more evidence of their complicity in the forgery?

The potential involvement of Mac Haddow and Reece Collins is particularly relevant because of the close personal and professional ties Haddow and Collins have with Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland. Both worked in Candland’s office and continue to work closely with him on numerous issues. Given the close ties between Candland and these individuals, it begs the question of what role Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland may have had in the perpetration of this fraud. Both his and Mac Haddow’s past attempts to deny any knowledge of or involvement in the Sheriff of Nottingham smear blog have over time been laughably dismissed even by many of their supporters, who have watched information from Candland and Haddow FOIA requests, for example, promptly appear on the Cabal’s smear blog. We already know about Candland’s questionable dealings regarding QBE. Is he complicit in this forgery and fraud?

Also troubling is that the Haddow-Candland Cabal house organ posted personal information on applicant Don Shaw, including his address and telephone number, in the form of his application for the School Board position. What this means is that Sheriff blog likely did not get this from a FOIA request, where such personal information would probably be redacted. It was a very limited group that had access to this information, primarily the School Board members. Did a School Board member provide the Sheriff of Nottingham smear blog with this unredacted personal information on Don Shaw? Was it Willie Deutsch who did so?

We doubt the forger would expect to convince Democrats that this memo is real. Instead, their likely objective in our opinion consists of one or more of the following: (1) try to generate sympathy by getting someone like us to trash Trenum’s nominees, which we have thus far refused to do, (2) discredit Don Shaw or make him so uncomfortable that he withdraws his application, or (3) rile up with fabrications a group that they consider to be gullible rubes that they can manipulate to their own advantage. All of these are tactics we believe are consistent with past actions of Pete Candland, Mack Haddow and Reece Collins.

If elected officials or people who stand to benefit are involved in this fraud in any way, this has the potential to be a very serious issue for those elected officials. Similarly, if Mac Haddow or Reece Collins are involved in any way then elected officials and candidates should refuse to engage their services in the future. There are also parties named in the memo who may be able to pursue civil claims.

This matter deserves investigation.





36 comments on “Candland and Deutsch: Complicit in Forgery and Fraud?

  1. -

    I think Candland’s too smart to have his fingerprints on this but you can met Mac Haddow and/or Reece Collins are behind this.

  2. -

    What a disgrace Prince William politics has become. You have failed candidates posting all over Facebook and then you have an actual School Board member like Willie Deutsch posting a libelous, fake document. How childish can things get?

  3. -

    I doubt Candland had anything to do with this (Willie Deutsch probably did), but I don’t understand how Pete Candland can look himself in the mirror, go to church or pretend to be the person he claims to be and support the kind of stuff his people put up on the Sheriff blog. Has he no deceny?

  4. -

    This is obviously a forgery and forgery is way over the top even for Prince William politics. The press or the authorities need to investigate this and if anyone has a civil claim they need to sue.

  5. -

    Supervisor Haddow, dba Supervisor Candland, is losing his mind.

    Nobody has ever fought back to their terribleness. Clearly that is not the case anymore. They have such thin skin. The smallest punch (or counter punch) sends them into a tantrum.

    Candland’s whiny voice anytime the vote isn’t going his way is such a turn off. He’s clearly a child deep down and doesn’t understand why people don’t see the world his way or how someone could possible disagree with his “genius”.

    They’ve now turned to the Bob Weir and Willie Deutsch to do some of their dirty work for them. Both are starved for attention and the only thing that seems to get them attention is when they start a fight with Sawyers.

    They are literally just making stuff up to try to make him look bad but the truth has a funny way of coming out. This “memo” may be the beginning of the end of for Supervisor Haddow, dba Supervisor Candland.

  6. -

    Could be Tracy Conroy she made it clear months ago that Trenum would not complete his term and she would be the Brentsville school board member, look closely at her.

    [Muckraker Note: A couple of people have suggested this to us. But we think it unlikely Conroy has anything to do with it. We’re going to leave this comment up, but without more evidence will not post more comments speculating about the forger being Conroy. The truth is that we don’t like to write about her unless she goes really over the top. There is a split in feelings about her at the Muckraker that cause unnecessary tension. Some think she is completely unethical. Others like her but think she for some reason spiraled downward after her election loss to do some ridiculous but forgivable things. Others are incensed by how her FB group contributed to spreading false information about George Hampton’s military record without evidence — until they were proven wrong, we’re proud to say, by the Muckraker. Others think she is a marginal player who runs a FB page just to get attention. In any event, we’d be stunned to learn she was involved in this in any way. So, without more evidence . . . .]

  7. -

    Whatever else may have or have not occurred, Shaw’s personal information being published is not an issue as it was sent out by Sawyers to multiple people, published by several and constitutes information that is open to public review. There are several BOCS appointments on the agenda for next Tuesday, if you open up the agenda item you will probably find similar resumes and letters with nothing redacted.

    [Muckraker Note: We believe this comment is false. We are attempting to confirm with Ryan Sawyers by email whether or not he distributed the personal information regarding Don Shaw to anyone other than School Board members and relevant school staff who were supposed to know at that time. It was not, to our knowledge, distributed by him to anyone outside such a group, and would not have been disclosed to the public until a later date as part of the selection review process. From what we can determine thus far, it appears likely that a School Board member inappropriately distributed the personal information for the specific intent of getting it posted online prior to public disclosure so that it would enable harassment of Don Shaw via his telephone number and email address. We will update our readers as we learn more.]

  8. -

    They obviously all received their political degrees from Trump University. This kind of political behavior is a sign of weakness. My hopes are that the people in Petes area know enough of the truth now to help the county out and get rid of him and tha Haddow crooked politics crew.

  9. -

    The disclosure of Don Shaw’s personal information may be more serious than meets the eye. If his resume and letter were not released in response to a FOIA request where personal information would be redacted, then it means that a School Board member or School staff member inappropriately distributed the private information that had been gathered as part of a government process. It’s even more problematic if that person then transmitted it or posted it as part of an attempt to generate animosity toward a person or persons, and included their address, phone number and email. If this non-FOIA disclosure is traced to a School Board member or school staff member, they could be in serious trouble.

  10. -

    Did you see the Bristow Beat article where Deutsch attacks military veteran Don Shaw as being too conservative while claiming (again with no proof) that the Democrats have said Trenum’s nominees are too conservative.

    The Dems have said nothing about Trenum’s nominees yet Deutsh makes it up so he can call Shaw “too liberal”.

  11. -

    I said on July 5th that I didn’t believe that memo was real and we all owe you so much gratitude for checking it out. It’s disappointing to see Mr. Deutsch may be involved as well. We all know what to expect from the other Republicans, but we hope that he will learn from this.

  12. -

    I’m missing the big deal about Don Shaw’s person information being distributed. Isn’t it public information?

    [Muckraker Note: This is a fair question. We found it pretty easy to locate Don Shaw’s address, so at the Muckraker we can’t really see a big deal about that being distributed. His phone number? His email? Not as easy, but still not clear that it’s a big deal. When we were contacting Democrats about the forged letter, almost none of them, including their party Chair, thought the distribution of the personal information about Don Shaw mattered at all. A few thought that the context in which it was distributed, i.e. by a School Board member to sources specifically designed to encourage attacks and harassment of Don Shaw, did matter. At the Muckraker our interest is in who distributed it since we think it likely that the person who leaked it was complicit in the forgery of the letter.]

  13. -

    Forging a document on an employment issue is seriously crossing the line. It’s important to find out who did this.

  14. -

    When it comes to the forgery my money is on Reece Collins. He was a campaign manager for Rich Anderson and it was Anderson who took Prince William County politics across the line of acceptable behavior when he ran ads and mailers implying Paul Nichols was arrested for DUI and splashed Nichols’ social security number all over the TV and online. The Andersons have no ethics when it comes to politics and Reece Collins was their teacher.

  15. -

    Fraud is right up Mac Haddow’s alley.

  16. -

    Don Shaw has pulled out of consideration. Was something said about his family?

    • -

      They were threatened

  17. -

    I think the “from” line is the dead giveaway this is a forgery. You couldn’t fit a name much less a name and company there. Pretty pathetic of whoever did this.

  18. -

    Forgery and fraud by an elected Republican official or their staff member or volunteer. Very interesting story. Deserves more investigation.

  19. -

    I think this is the Haddow-Candland cabal’s version of a “Canuck Letter.” It’s certainly consistent with Candland’s and Haddow’s tactics.

  20. -

    If you have a question about Don Shaw’s actions, why don’t you ask him directly?

  21. -

    There must be a legal recourse. Willie needs to be sanctioned on record. Dan Shaw needs to sue The Sherriff
    I would love to see the whole crooked cabal dragged into court. Oh what a great day that would be.

  22. -

    None of Trennum’s three picks are acceptable. They are all politico wanna-be’s and will definitely let the temporary position go to their head. If Trennum wants to secure his chair and his mark on the board then he needs to keep his position and vote by proxy. What’s the difference between his proxy vote or a vote from an idiot that he puts in his seat to be his puppet. None of this is productive.

    [Muckraker Note: This is an interesting question. We have not expressed and do not intend to express an opinion on Gil Trenum’s suggested replacements. We are comfortable, however, in supporting the idea of allowing Trenum to vote while he is on deployment, provided this is legal and in any reasonable way feasible (not sure of either). While we don’t always agree with Trenum’s positions we think he is at least basically honest and not completely co-opted by the Haddow-Candland Cabal (we know not everyone agrees with us on that). Putting aside the practicality question, does anyone know if it is possible for Trenum to keep his position and vote either directly or by proxy while deployed?]

  23. -

    Nasty stuff was being spread about Don Shaw on the two so called “education reform” sites with allusions to the forged letter and his personal information. Just look at it and you will see why he withdrew his name. You should do a story on that.

    [Muckraker Note: We don’t go out trolling other sites for stories. Nor do we have access to them if they are closed groups. As in most cases we rely on contributors to send us or draft material. If you have relevant screenshots that document what you say about the education reform sites then feel free to email them to us and we will consider them for a future story if relevant and warranted. For those who are interested in Don Shaw’s reasons for withdrawal, we’ve been told there is a letter online which people can review for themselves.]

  24. -

    I understand that one of Gil’s nominees as his stand -in works or worked for a pornographer, have you heard that? Any truth to it?

    [Muckraker Note: We have heard that and have received some information on it but have not yet been able to verify it. If you have more information on this we will consider printing it. Without that corroborating information, however, we will not accept any comments that include the name of that person and will take this comment down. We want to note that from the information we have it appears that Gil Trenum is completely unaware of this person’s affiliation.]

  25. -

    I listened to the video/audio of the BOCS meeting where Candland had his melt down. I was taken back by Candland referring to Mac Haddow as honorable. I guess in Candland’s mind anything short of first degree murder makes one an honorable person. Think about Haddow’s history, every stop he’s had an “issue”
    While serving in the Utah legislature: Ethics investigation
    While serving at Health and Human Services: Felony conviction
    Chantilly Youth Basketball: Arrested (as was his wife)
    Washinhgton DC/Lybia: tries to convince relatives of victims of PanAm 103 to take peanuts to settle the issue and reward Gadaffi and Hoddows cliient for murdering US citizens

    Gainesville: sets up a “charity” with Landry of QBE to support Candland, Candland votes to sell county facility at 1/3 market price to Landry, Candland 5 months later takes a job with Landry at an astronomical salary.

  26. -

    Here s another thing to consider: when democrat Renita Ramirez, the Woodbridge member on the school board resigned the Republican controlled school board appointed right wing Republican Steve Keen to the board ignoring the type of person the voters had elected. The more unsettling thing is that Gil Trenum was one of the ring leaders to appoint Keen who [was] subsequently trounced by Democrat Loree Williams. So what’s good for the goose…..

  27. -

    Thank you Muckraker for calling out the Haddow/Candland group for their fraudulent conduct. They’ve been posting forged or made up stuff for years and no one has really ever called them out for it because no reputable candidate or elected official has staff members or volunteers run a smear and hate blog for them the way Candland has done with Haddow. People like Willie Deutsch look to Haddow as the role model for how politics should be done and it is ruining county politics and government. Thank you for taking on these hiding cowards.

  28. -

    I heard the master hypocrite Delegate Rich Anderson was spouting off on the radio today that the Democrats were politicizing the school board by trying to appoint a Democrat to the Brentsville seat. Where was Rich when the Republicans appointed Republican Steve Keen to replace Democrat Denita Ramirez in the Woodbridge District of all places. Typical two faced Rich the hypocrite.

    • -

      Anyone who really knows both of the Anderson’s, both are two faced.

  29. -

    Muckraker- please, please do whatever you need to do to establish the identity of the forger and initiate legal consequences. SoN routinely creates and posts outright fiction. It hurts people and it causes well-meaning people to believe things that are untrue. Like so much of what is going on in the world today, it is out of control and it cannot be allowed to stand.

  30. -

    What kind of people leave threatening notes in mailboxes over Little League baseball, as well as Confederate flags with racist insults in another mailbox and harass and threaten an applicant for a school board vacancy?

    • -

      Look. It’s quite simple. They are scared of Sawyers. They are doing everything and anything to attack him even if it’s constantly yelling into their own echo chambers (SoN, Derecho, PWC Ed Reform, Our Schools).

      Willie got in on the down side of the Haddow bell shaped curve but he just doesn’t know it yet. He’s slinging mud like that’s gonna work.

      He’s stuck behind a rock and a hard place though because Nohe will challenge Candland for Chair in a primary at least and Willie won’t know who to root for.

      He hates Nohe but wants his seat. That’s clear. Deutsch clearly has disdain for public education. He was home schooled his entire life and just wants to throw powder puff grenades at Sawyers all day.

      Willie won’t be able to raise any money and he won’t have the luxury of a three way race. His political life will be short-lived because he’s going down on the sinking ship HMS Haddow.

    • -

      The answer is clear: the Canfland cabal

  31. -

    Can the SB move on to substantive issues, ever? We have the 2nd largest system in Virginia with the number of students headed to 100,000 (i.e., one of the largest in the NATION). Democrats already control the SB so why must it immerse itself into this relative nonsense and get on with the key goals: Fund and improve better student performance?

  32. -

    Haddow is ousting Botello as chair of the Gainesville Republican Committee, he is installing his son in law who is also Candland s chief of staff and a member of the service authority. Haddow is consolidating his power and will have absolute control of Gainesville.

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