To Fairfax County Supervisor T. Farrell Egge, a Mount Vernon Republican, it was politics as usual. But Philip L. Chabot Jr., an Alexandria lawyer and Democratic Party activist, had other ideas.
Egge, whose election victory in November gave the GOP control of the county board for the first time in more than a century, wrote Chabot last week asking for his resignation from the county's Uniformed Retirement System Board.
The board oversees investments for the county retirement fund covering fire and rescue workers, and the offices of the sheriff and game warden.
Egge thought the matter was routine: Chabot had been nominated in 1982 by Egge's predecessor, Democrat Sandra L. Duckworth.
Egge wanted his own nominee -- a Republican -- in the job.
Chabot, who ran unsuccessfully in 1983 for the Virginia General Assembly against Republican Del. Frank Medico, replied with aplomb.
"My sense of obligation to the people of Mount Vernon will not allow me to resign," he wrote to Egge.
Besides, he added, his term on the retirement board did not expire until 1986.
"Basically," Egge said, "he told me to go suck eggs." He also suggested that the letter, dated April 1, was an "April Fool's letter."
"Apparently," said Egge, "Mr. Chabot feels like he's been stuck in the eye with a sharp stick."
Said Chabot: "He's got the right to ask for my resignation , and I've got the right to say no."
Egge said his letter to Chabot did not presage any mass firing of Democratic political appointees to county boards and commissions.
But, he added: "There are a heck of a lot of qualified Republicans out there."
"It's interesting that I'd be the only person so honored," said Chabot.
Egge said he would not pursue the matter further.
"I'm not going to make a mountain out of this molehill," Egge concluded.