Councilwoman Shannon Kane broke the law in recruiting city fire department personnel to do her political dirty work in her run for re-election according to emails received under the Freedom of Information Act. 

Kane is opposed by Robert Dean who said she should resign from office and drop out of the race for re-election. (See Dean’s News Conference Statement)  

Dean Thursday released emails showing Kane got Virginia Beach firemen to erect her 4x8 - foot campaign signs in clear violation of Sec. 2-90 of the City Code. 

Dean wrote Commonwealth’s Atty. Colin Stolle and City Atty. Mark Stiles about the criminal violation requesting investigation and action, which includes firing of employees who violate the code.[Click Read More below for rest of the story]

Stolle, however, condescendingly replied, “It is not my role to demand that any elected official resign from office, but to enforce the laws according to the Code of Virginia.  Just because you feel that the City Attorney may have a conflict does not mean that I automatically have jurisdiction to step in and enforce the City Code.  If you feel that a crime has been committed then you should contact the VBPD.’ 

However, Shari King-Casey, compliance and transparency council for Atty. Gen. Mark Herring wrote on April 1, 2015 that ‘…enforcement of such provisions for local boards and officials rests with the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the locality …’.  (Click here to read Atty. Gen. ruling)

In August Kane solicited William Bailey, head of the Virgina Beach Fire Fighters’ Union, to recruit city firemen  to erect her political signs in direct violation of Sec. 2-90 which states: 

  • Sec 2-90  para (c) of the code of Virginia Beach states: “No person to whom this section applies shall use the status or prestige of his or her position with the city on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective office
  • “Sec 2-90 para (d) No person to whom this section applies shall use any city funds, supplies, or equipment for political purposes, nor shall any such person wear his or her city uniform while participating in any manner in political activities.
  • “Sec 2-90 para (e) The provisions of this section shall be enforced in concert with applicable city and departmental policies and procedures.
  • “Sec 2-90 (f) Violation of this section shall constitute a cause for dismissal from employment. 

Starting Aug. 18, Bailey wrote a series of emails to selected fire department captains, including Capt. George S. Woodruff, stating: “I have been asked to post some signs for Shannon Kane. I am physically unable to do this like in the past, so I am asking for your assistance. Only a few hours... 

“I would like to do this Monday morning starting a 0800 and put out signs. If you can help me, please let me know “. 

He clearly stated he was doing this at Kane’s direction, as stated in this Aug. 18 email: “I am going to call [sic] kane if I get someone to help. She asked and said it was a two person job. I tire quickly so I hope to get a helper before I commit.” Bailey is current off duty due to complications from a stroke.

The emails were apparently sent from his union computer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , but he sent the request to captains at their city computers and Bailey received responses back from the firemen at his email and computer. 

Kane could not be reached for comment. Nor did she respond to an email. 

Bailey, however, in a telephone interview Thursday night freely admitted violating the law, indicating he’d also done so in the past. 

He said he has been disciplined by the Fire Department, but refused to say what the penalty was, “its a personnel matter.” 

Bailey said he had recently suffered a stroke that left him with speech, mental, and mobility limitations.  He has moved to NC and is out of work on disability.  He said he is trying to hang on until he can retire. 

Candidate Dean said Bailey and others should be fired for violating the city code in helping the political campaign of Kane and she should resign from office.