Serial Litterer's Fate Escalates to Exile

By Carol Morello
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 15, 2005

BERRYVILLE, Va. -- By all accounts, Parviz Modaber harbors a deep grudge against the Commonwealth of Virginia.

So much so that he has treated the state where his career and livelihood in medicine were ruined two decades ago as little more than a receptacle for his household trash.

Now, Modaber, 73, has another reason to hate Virginia.

After Modaber's fourth conviction for littering, a judge this month ordered him banished from Clarke County. General District Court Judge Norman deVere Morrison threatened jail time if Modaber steps inside the county.

"If you're found in Clarke County, bring your toothbrush," he said in sentencing Modaber this month.

Modaber's attorney and therapist have said Modaber dumped his trash on Virginia roadsides to express his contempt for the state. Clarke County bore the brunt of his visceral hatred for no reason other than its proximity to his home on a bucolic mountainside outside Charles Town, W.Va.

Modaber's proclivity to litter was so well-known that police were on the lookout for his car. Over the past several years, he methodically emptied bags of trash -- aluminum cans and plastic bottles, diapers and coffee grounds, crumpled newspapers and junk mail, some bearing his name -- onto the median of U.S. 340, a divided highway that runs through Clarke.

He continued to litter, even after performing hundreds of hours of community service picking up other people's trash. He continued after being ordered to contribute $2,500 to the local anti-litter committee. And he kept at it after a Clarke resident determined to catch him red-handed started tailing him at high speeds along the back roads of West Virginia.

Carole Hertz, a psychologist who treated Modaber for anger management issues, diagnosed an obsessive-compulsive disorder focused on his bitter experiences in Virginia during the 1980s, court records say.

That was when his career as an obstetrician went into a tailspin after a series of incidents that led to the revocation of his hospital privileges and an indefinite probation from by the Virginia Board of Medicine. Prohibited from delivering babies, he moved to West Virginia and allowed his medical license to expire.

But his hard feelings lived on, and festered.

"He obsesses about Virginia and how he's going to get back at it for all the problems [Virginians] caused in his life," Hertz said. "He obsessed and obsessed and obsessed on what he perceived as wrongdoing. He still does. He feels he was treated unfairly."

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