Safety Center Planned for Hamilton

Volunteer firefighters and rescuers from Hamilton have purchased a 10-acre lot outside the town and are planning to build a combined safety center.

The property, on the eastern edge of town south of Route 7, cost $307,500 and was paid for through fund-raising by both organizations, said Leesburg lawyer Eric Zimmerman, who is donating his services to the volunteers.

Zimmerman said the property, a farm, was owned by a Leesburg family. The volunteers are working with an architect now and hope to break ground by spring.

The building will be modeled after those in Leesburg and Ashburn where volunteer firefighters and rescuers have moved their services under one roof, Zimmerman said.

Woman Sues Ex-Deputies in Sex Case

A former inmate of the Loudoun County jail is suing two former deputies who have been convicted of having sexual contact with her during her incarceration.

In two separate lawsuits filed June 25 in Loudoun County Circuit Court, the woman, Heida Post, is seeking $2 million each from former deputies Ardon Nichols, 25, and Carlos Olave, 28.

The men were among three deputies who left the department in 1998 after being indicted on various charges involving allegations of sexual contact with inmates at the Leesburg jail. Nichols, Olave and the third man, Anthony Johnson, 35, all later were convicted of sexual battery, and Nichols also was convicted of additional charges.

The suits also name Sheriff Steve Simpson as a defendant. Simpson declined to comment, saying he has not yet reviewed the suits. Nichols and Olave could not be reached for comment.

During the criminal cases, prosecutors said there was evidence that the sexual contact was consensual, but they said the acts were illegal because the guards had authority over the women.

Post has suffered "severe emotional distress," according to the lawsuit. Her lawyer, James Campbell, said he did not know why she had been in jail.

Court Allows Suit Against Sheriff

A federal appeals court this week ruled that a woman whose son lapsed into a coma while jailed in Loudoun in 1996 can move forward with a lawsuit against Sheriff Steve Simpson.

The inmate, Kevin Andre Brown, went into a coma in March 1996 while jailed in Leesburg on a charge of public drunkenness. He remains connected to a life-support system at a Reston center for long-term care.

Brown's mother, Catherine Hoy, filed a $22 million lawsuit alleging that sheriff's deputies were not properly trained. The deputies were cleared in a 1997 trial and claims against the county and Simpson were dismissed by a U.S. district court judge.

In a June 25 opinion, the three-judge appeals panel upheld the judge's findings regarding the deputies and county but found that Hoy can pursue the claim against Simpson.