Thursday, September 21, 2023

Another Bomb Shell About the Corruption in Rockingham County


More great reporting by Travis Fain for WRAL that unravels evidence that in Rockingham County more people than just the Berger family had been maneuvering for months to get in tight with the gambling industry.

So it came to pass that like magic the Rockingham County Commission amended its development ordinance back in June, removing a special use permit requirement for electronic gaming operations and amending the definition of “highway commercial” so that it would allow "any activity licensed by the state." With hindsight, that move was merely a necessary but very quiet step in helping gambling casino owners get a foothold in Rockingham County before anyone knew what was happening.

Fain found out that "few noticed" the ordinance amendment. "No one spoke at a public hearing on the issue. But the vote became crucial in August [21st] when the board of commissioners voted to rezone the 192-acre plot next to a summer camp for children with special needs as 'highway commercial'.” Phil Berger's own son Kevin sits on the CoCommish, and it sure enough looks like a secret plan was well underway to advantage a particular Maryland casino developer. 

Fain's bit of intel suggests a grand plan, months in the making and implementation, to get commercial gambling seated at the table as quietly and with the least sweat possible. Because it's simply not a good look for any respectable politician to be manhandling the process for something as iffy as big-time gambling in a rural county.

We can say that now that Berger's big scheme is dead -- for the moment. It will undoubtedly come back to life eventually, like a zombie.

No comments: