A federal judge has barred two Fauquier County prosecutors from representing six current and former Airlie Foundation employes before a federal grand jury because they also represent an affiliated organization that is being probed for alleged government contract fraud.
Over the objections of federal prosecutors, District Court Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. agreed to allow the Fauquier lawyers to continue to represent Raven's Hollow Ltd., a film-making company that produced numerous films for the federal government.
Prosecutors Roger A. Inger and Charles B. Foley, who are permitted to handle private matters under Virginia law, have appealed the judge's ruling to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. "I can't comment, except to say I obviously disagree [with the judge's ruling]," Inger said yesterday.
The ruling is the latest legal maneuver involving the Warrenton-based Airlie Foundation, whose founder, Dr. Murdock Head was convicted in October 1979 of engaging in a criminal conspiracy.
There was testimony during Head's trial and those of a former congressman he was accused of bribing, that Raven's Hollow had submitted false claims to the government for films it produced under contract to the foundation.
Federal prosecutors had sought to disqualify Inger and Foley because they believed a conflict of interest existed with the lawyers representing Raven's Hollow, which is under the grand jury scrutiny, and also representing individuals who might need to defend themselves, if Raven's Hollow is indicted.
Federal prosecutor Theodore S. Greenberg said yesterday he would seek Justice Department approval to challenge Bryan's order.