Ed Abbott of Reston Recall has withdrawn his complaints against former Reston Association At-Large Director Eve Thompson, who vacated her seat on Tuesday, June 6.
Reston Recall was dedicated to replacing members of the RA Board who voted in favor of the Lake House project through a recall referendum. Abbott testified at the RA Board’s regular meeting on Thursday, June 22, to withdraw complaints that he formally filed against Thompson prior to her resignation.
Abbott’s complaint alleged Thompson failed to disclose her ownership of the Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar and her husband Rick Thompson’s position as president of the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association.
Though Thompson’s affiliations were not secret, her failure to formally disclose her ties to the community during votes regarding Lake Anne were worrisome to Abbott after the RA underwent a probe into its handling of the Lake House project earlier in the year.
Thompson admits that she should have recused herself from the votes about the use of the lake and other matters in Abbott’s complaints. Still, she maintains that her intent was not self-serving.
“What [Abbott] is saying is that I voted ‘yes’ to enrich myself,” Thompson said. “Now, I don’t know why I voted ‘yes’ the previous seven times,” she said sarcastically when referring to the “Polar Dip” fundraiser. “It’s a fun winter event on Lake Anne that is a charity event and what he is saying is that it was misconduct.”
“Technically, I should have recused,” she added. “Technically I should have, but still, I think it’s a long way from a technical ‘should have recused’ to intent.”
THOMPSON maintains that she resigned out of exhaustion with the demeanor of the board.
“I could no longer continuously deal with the undermining of individual board members,” she said.
Abbott filed a second conflict of interest complaint that Thompson voted to approve Surf Reston, LLC to dock and operate a gondola on the Lake Anne Dock in the summer of 2016 and to approve the “Polar Dip” fundraiser organized by Camp Sunshine in conjunction with LARCA in Lake Anne in February without disclosing conflicts of interest. The conflicts of interest stated in the complaint were that her husband was involved with LARCA and that she had a real estate office for her Long and Foster practice near the Lake Anne Dock, and she and her husband’s coffee shop and wine bar, which opened in November, was open during the February fundraiser.
These were “rubber stamp” items on the consent calendars of the board’s meeting agendas, according to Thompson.
Abbott also declared at the meeting that he has ceased operations of his Reston Recall effort.
“I believe the new board will not allow a mistake such as Tetra [Lake House] to re-occur. Therefore, there is no reason to continue with Reston Recall, so I have removed the Reston Recall website and the Facebook page.”