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A councilwoman explains why the city should have paid her legal bills. A soliloquy.

Reva Has Her Say


I'm dragged into court [and told] if I didn't talk I was gonna be charged with contempt of court. I'm thinking, what does that mean?

My lawyer tells me, "You're gonna be held in jail. Remember Chuck Richardson? Remember how long they held him in jail for contempt of court?"

I've got nothing to say. Am I gonna stay in here a year, six months? How long is it gonna be? Nobody had an answer until they sit there and threaten me in that room.

And I'll tell you right now, and I don't care who gets mad or who gets glad, I still say: People, you know, maybe they admit to things because they're scared to death, 'cause I'll tell you right now, I was scared to death in that room. Not knowing if the judge was gonna put me in jail or what was gonna happen to me. …

I was dragged through the mill from last August to February and still going through it. Still got my name slandered all over the radio by Mr. Alan Price of WRVA: "Wonder how much stock she has in mattresses? Wonder how she's gonna pay that high-priced attorney of hers?" Yeah, that's what he said. "Wonder what her bedroom looks like?" … I had all these police officers call me, "Reva, turn on WRVA, listen to what they're saying about you." I couldn't believe it. … Look at all the other magazines I've been in, I never talked to any of them, I never asked them to do that to me.

And I would have none of y'all [on City Council] done like that, 'cause I've taken up for y'all many times. And like I said, I know y'all could not get involved once I got indicted, you all couldn't be involved 'cause as [Vice-Mayor] Rudy [McCollum] told me, they could've been a part of it then if they had said anything or tried to stop them from doing whatever they did to me.

But once Doug Wendel got on the witness stand and said he was romantically involved with me, and he was separated from his wife. … I didn't say that, he said that. I didn't know what he said until I read the transcript because I couldn't be in the same room when he was testifying.

But he didn't deny it, and he didn't deny it in the transcript, that Officer Dan Quinney threatened to go to the chief — it's in the transcript that he had threatened to go the chief about me and Doug, because he said "You're gonna be transferred when he finds out that you're seeing her." This has been going on since '98!

And … how much time did these two lawyers put into this? It wasn't just one time, they didn't just go to one court. We're over here in North Side, South Side, North Side, South Side, back to South Side. How many judges did I go before? How many? How many times did Michael Morchower have to stand up there and fight for me so I would not be arrested? …

Michael was standing up there in the courtroom, trying, you know. Michael represents you from his heart. … He said, "This is not right. The woman doesn't do drugs, the woman's not, you know, she hasn't committed … you know, she hasn't killed nobody. You're treating her like she's a criminal. Gonna handcuff her and take her on downtown to 17th Street or wherever. ... And do what with her? How long is she gonna stay locked up?"

And I'm saying, I'm a councilperson! I'm being treated like this? How are you gonna be treated [points to the audience], and how are you gonna be treated, if I'm treated like that?

And … [City Manager] Calvin [Jamison], I had talked to you over and over: "Please stop this, please don't let this go any further."

"I'm not going to, I can't do that."

Why can't you do that? You're the city manager, you're Mr. Jerry Oliver's boss. He's not your boss, you know, that's what makes me mad. 'Cause it didn't have to come to this tonight. And I begged you. I begged you. And that's stupid! I'm supposed to be his boss?

And let me tell you all something else, too, and I don't care how mad or glad you get, this really upsets me. You look at your city employees around here, not only the police officers, any city employee. Look at their faces. They walk around here like they're scared to death. They're scared to death. Us, us council members, we're scared to death now, we're scared we're gonna get indicted if we give an order or if somebody thinks we done gave 'em an order.

And you know what, Calvin? What really gets me [is], you tell your department heads or whatever they need to be loyal to you? Well you wanna know something? … I'm your boss. I don't feel like you're loyal to me at all.

And you know what? I don't think you and I could ever work together 'cause I don't trust you at all. And that's all I have to say.

Excerpted from Trammell's remarks at a June 11 City Council meeting. Transcribed by Emily Cherry.

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