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Letter: Vote for Donald Caldwell

Letter: Vote for Donald Caldwell


Democrat Melvin Hill wants to be Roanoke’s commonwealth’s attorney. His win would be the public’s loss (again). He accumulated IRS tax liens exceeding $225,000 over 10 years from repeated failure to pay his share of taxes. In 2020, he dumped some $200,000 in tax debt through bankruptcy while claiming above-average income of $50,000 (single, no dependents) and an apartment twice HUD’s fair market rental.

He stated, under penalty of perjury, that he had zero cash, $91 in the bank, and no budget for taxes, charity, or campaign contributions. Yet he gave thousands per year to politicians before, during, and after bankruptcy, including $750 given during the three months his bankruptcy was pending (source: Virginia Public Access Project).

What should a voter conclude? Many people no doubt cheat on taxes or lie in bankruptcy, but not many do both and then ask to be chief prosecutor. Hill says he grew up with a single mother on welfare … paid by a tax burden that he evades, and which would pay his salary if he were elected. What do his actions say about his notion of fairness?

Recently, Hill represented indicted councilman Robert Jeffrey Jr. in court against the Northwest Neighborhood Environmental Organization on whose board Hill once served (and from whom Jeffrey is charged with embezzlement). Where are Hill’s loyalties?

Hill lacks experience running anything more than a solo practice. He's also a longtime lawyer of Roanoke landlord Roland "Spanky" Macher, himself convicted in 2011 of tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud.

Donald Caldwell’s continued service is the better choice. He has years of experience managing a large staff and budget. He’s an experienced litigator. His character and personal responsibility are beyond question. He understands the unique job of prosecutors to prosecute criminals, fairly, in the public interest. As a former Democrat (now independent due to local party turmoil), Caldwell can be embraced by Democrat voters who might otherwise be drawn to the ‘party line.’

Melvin Hill asks the public to disregard his record and give him a win that would be the community's loss to suffer for years. Whatever your other election decisions, please vote for Donald Caldwell!

David Garland, Roanoke


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