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Valley ASAP program appears to be in disarray, court appointments in limbo

Crystal Graham
judge banging gavel in courtroom
(© francescosgura – stock.adobe.com)

“This place was a shitshow” pretty much sums up what a former employee has to say about Valley ASAP, the local office providing case managers to local courts for programs addressing driver improvement, DUI and drug testing.

Kellie Honeycutt had been working at Valley ASAP for about four months when the computers were shut down and office staff were told to clear out their offices and turn in their keys.

While the state agency says that calls are still being answered, and they are working to provide “continuity of services to citizens in the local area,” questions about the status of employees in the office were not returned by the Commission on VASAP staff. A vague reply was returned with no name or title attributed to the comments.

Honeycutt said the abrupt shutdown happened on or around Aug. 30 when computers weren’t working, and staff members were told to go home.

The following morning, Honeycutt returned to the Staunton office, and said it was “a ghost town.”

Nobody was there, and the computers still weren’t working.

A policy board provides oversight for the Valley ASAP program. Honeycutt was told, she said, by the executive director, Miles Bobbitt, around 11 a.m. that he had met with the chairman, and “apparently we have been shut down.”

Honeycutt said Bobbitt told her since ASAP wasn’t allowing them access to their programs that she should go ahead and empty her office and find another job.

There were red flags everywhere prior to that day, Honeycutt said, that she chose to ignore in part, because she liked working with the court system and the judges.

The first red flag came in her interview when they were interrupted at least 17 times, she said, by clients ringing the bell. She said she was asked if she could start the following day.

Overworked and underpaid as the likely culprit, Honeycutt said that two long-time full-time employees had recently left the office, a case manager who had been there since 2002 and an administrative assistant who had worked at the agency since 2015. However, their current status is unknown as both have been rumored to still be working nights at the agency. When the administrative assistant was reached by email, “no comment” was offered.

Honeycutt said that she and another new case manager, Bethany Eckard, were told they had big shoes to fill, something court staff reminded them of regularly.

They both received training in bits and pieces, Honeycutt said, and both often reached out to the Commission, and specifically Christopher Morris, special programs coordinator, for assistance.

Honeycutt said she felt she developed a rapport with Morris and shared with him that the Staunton office was in disarray.

She said she told Morris there was “paper everywhere.” Red flag #2 for her. She said she was told there were electronic files, and there should be no paper. Honeycutt said there were at least two years worth of boxes sitting in the break room waiting to be shredded. She said she shared pictures with Morris after telling him about the situation.

“They needed to be shredded,” Honeycutt told AFP. Having worked at other state agencies, she said “it’s a form you fill out online, and the director signs it, and they come in and shred them. It’s not a big deal, but it just wasn’t being done. We were making paper files up until the day I left.”

She said she made it very clear to Commission staff that she feared the documents left a paper trail, and due to access issues with the office, she felt it was a violation of state protocols.

Honeycutt said there was too much access to the office, too many people with keys and obvious issues as a result with confidentiality.

“I worked with the Department of Corrections,” she said. “I know how agencies are run. This place was a shitshow. There’s not real training being done, but I think it’s because we are so far behind. He’s (the executive director) trying to stay above water with the court system.”

Another issue that Honeycutt had early on was there seemed to be no form for mileage reimbursement even though she was required to travel to the Lexington office two days a week. Red flag #3.

“That sends red flags to me because I know how the state works, and everything is done is triplicate,” she said.

In the end, Honeycutt said, someone from the Commission showed up to the office, and she said she was told by Bobbitt that they conducted an audit.

The office was shut down a short time later.

Honeycutt said she was told, “Here’s the bottom line. We don’t have a job for you. So we can fire you or you can resign.”

“So I resigned.”

Honeycutt feels bad for her clients and has been monitoring her email and trying to help where she can.

“I’m checking to see how I can help people, because these people, they’re flipping out. This is their life,” she said. “There was no notice. I still have court-scheduled appointments on my calendar to meet with people once a month. The Commission wouldn’t discuss anything with me other than, you need to talk to Miles, and Miles was not communicating with us,” she said.

“I have clients to this day reaching out to me on my Facebook Messenger,” Eckard said on Oct. 24. “They are asking how to make a payment or how do I go about getting my driver’s license back.”

Eckard said her email was shut down immediately; her password no longer worked. She said she heard that Valley ASAP is looking to hire new full-time staff as case managers for the Staunton office.

Eckard said she was disappointed they didn’t instead provide them with more training or send someone with more experience to help them.

“If anyone I know is looking to apply, I’m definitely going to tell them not to because you never know from day to day if you’re going to have a job. You are hiring new staff that don’t have any information on how to do the job – and are they going to do the same thing as they did to us?

“We loved this job,” Eckard said. “We could relate to some of the clients there, and we could help them. We were both really upset.”

AFP attempted to reach out to Miles Bobbitt, but there was no reply to a request for comment.

While the Commission on ASAP did not specifically address our questions, they did provide the following statement by email with no name attributed to the comment.

“The Valley ASAP as well as the other 23 local programs operate under the guidance of a local policy board.  The Commission on VASAP is currently assisting the Valley ASAP policy board and the courts to ensure a continuity of services to citizens in the local area. Valley ASAP is not closed for services; until further notice; it is providing ASAP services under a modified operational standard. Should anyone need assistance from the program, the Valley ASAP phone is being answered during the normal work hours.

None of the 24 ASAPs across the Commonwealth are closed for services.”


The Commission on VASAP
1111 E. Main Street, Suite 801
Richmond, VA 23219
P: 804-786-5895
F: 804-786-6286

Minor edits to the story were made on Oct. 24 after speaking with Eckard by phone and exchanging emails with the husband of the administrative assistant mentioned in the article.


Valley ASAP office closed? Virginia Commission says no but vague on details

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.