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Augusta County: Did Butch Wells pressure Steven Morelli to resign his BOS seat?

Chris Graham
mobile phone recording
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I’ve gotten a few messages from readers curious about one of the exchanges in that Dec. 22 phone call with Augusta County Supervisor Butch Wells.

From the transcript:

CHRIS GRAHAM: Were you asking, were you among the people telling Steve Morelli to step down from the board?

BUTCH WELLS: That doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m asking.

CG: That has everything to do with what I’m asking you. I was going to ask you that question …

BW: I can’t comment on that because it was in closed session.

Basically, what’s going on there, right?

Wells, in the guise of asking me to name the source who gave me the name of one of the women who came forward early last year with sexual-harassment allegations that resulted in the March 20 resignation of South River Supervisor Steven Morelli, was trying to intimidate me by claiming to have started a “file” on what he said was a “criminal” matter that turned out to be a figment of his imagination.

The call gave me an opportunity to ask Wells a question that more than a few people have wanted to get him to address on the record.

There has been speculation going around for months now about members of the Board of Supervisors apparently advising Morelli to resign his seat to prevent the allegations from getting out into the public domain.

The one name that I have heard consistently as being among those giving that advice: Butch Wells.

So, I asked the question.

In fact, I asked it twice, if you noticed that in the transcript.

Sure is interesting that he didn’t say no in either response, evading the question the first time, then hiding behind not being able to comment because the matter was discussed in a March 20 BOS closed session.

I’ll just throw out there – nothing about the nature of a closed session would prevent Wells from just saying, in response, No, in fact, I didn’t tell Steven Morelli to step down.

So …

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].