Former Sheriff Angry, Denies "Sex Party" Claim 

click to enlarge street14_mitchell_100.jpg

If you're a deputy looking for a promotion under the Sheriff C.T. Woody's administration, don't expect an invite to any sex parties.

And if you're Woody, don't expect the prior sheriff to take kindly to your accusations that sex parties were de rigeur in the past.

Woody claimed during an interview with Style that sex parties were a means of advancement at the jail during the administration of former Richmond Sheriff Michelle B. Mitchell. Now an angry Mitchell is demanding an in-print apology from her successor.

In a March 26 letter to the current sheriff that she copied in a certified letter to Style, Mitchell writes that she's consulted with a lawyer who advised the statement was slanderous and "potentially libelous."

She demands that the "Urban Legend" publicly apologize with a half-page ad published "in all major print media outlets in the Richmond Metropolitan area."

"Your statements represent a deliberate attempt to demean my character, lower my standing in the community, and greatly affect my personal life," Mitchell wrote, referring to Woody's quote in a March 21 cover story in Style that detailed jail administrative gaffes under the new administration.

Woody's statement contrasted the fairness of his promotions process with what he claimed occurred under Mitchell's administration.

Woody's quote: "Under the old administration, if you couldn't play softball … if you didn't go to sex parties and drink with certain people, and if you wasn't in the clique, they didn't care how knowledgeable you were — you wasn't going to get promoted."

A former jail human-resources director, who served under Mitchell, contradicted Woody's assertions. She oversaw the promotions process and helped select individuals who sat on the promotions board.

Those assertions also were not borne out in copies of various written policies, including the promotions policy under both Woody and Mitchell, obtained by Style.

A representative for Mitchell declined to comment further. "She said to tell you, 'I think the letter speaks for itself,'" the representative says.

Woody's spokeswoman, Tara Dunlop, also declined to comment.

The whole dustup leaves one former deputy who served under both Mitchell and Woody wondering if his invite got lost in the mail.

"I was a member of the sheriff's department for a total of [six] years and was promoted through the ranks and resigned as a lieutenant," writes Mike Woolson, who read about Mitchell's demand in Style's online edition and responded with a letter to the editor. "During my time at the sheriff's office I saw some pretty strange things. At no time did I ever see or take place [sic] in a sex party or was on the softball team." S

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