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Mailbag: Did Butch Wells slip, admit to additional victims in Morelli case?

Chris Graham
mobile phone recording
(© Binkontan – stock.adobe.com)

I am just reading your article (on the Butch Wells Dec. 22 phone call). What struck me the most in the transcript of the article was the fact that BW stated: 

BW: Do you know where you got that name? And why it was just her.

Just her? Was there more than one? 

Not wanting you to answer me, just found that interesting choice of word interesting if it was only one person – why say, “and why it was just her”?

Good luck to you and your findings.  


(© Jon – stock.adobe.com)

I have to admit, with everything else that there was to that Dec. 22 phone call, I’d missed on this major slip from Butch Wells.

But, yes, to answer KM, what we have learned about the allegations that reportedly led to the decision by South River Supervisor Steven Morelli to resign his seat on March 20 is that they involve not one, but two alleged sexual-harassment victims.

The reason for the Wells’ call is that I included the name of one of the alleged victims in a Freedom of Information Act request to Augusta County government made on Dec. 21.

I included that name, and not the other, because I don’t know the name of the other alleged victim.

For that matter, I’d have to concede to not having been 100 percent sure that the name that I’d included in the FOIA request was one of the victims.

I’d put my certainty on that name at around, say, 95 percent pre-Wells phone call.

Now, after, yeah, the certainty is in the vicinity of 1,000 percent.

And now, on top of that, with KM helping me see something that I’d missed in the transcript, with Wells asking me why I hadn’t asked about other alleged victims, I’d put the certainty that there were other victims in that same vicinity.

I’m still not sure what Wells was trying to achieve with that phone call, other than a weak attempt at intimidation with the threats of a “file” and playing “criminal games” that seem to be little more than bluster, with the assistant county attorney later clarifying, on Wells’ behalf, that the “file” that he claimed in the call to have “started” exists only in his head.

Butch Wells is a super smart guy; this one was not one of his better moments.


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].