Local man says he’s fit for School Board

Posted: September 20, 2013

The Winchester Star

George Archibald

BERRYVILLE — Clarke County School Board candidate George Archibald says his brushes with the law are behind him and that voters should not be afraid to elect him.

Archibald, 69, is vying for the Berryville District seat being vacated by James Brinkmeier. His challenger is Roberta Lasiter. Both have qualified to run in the Nov. 5 special election.

Since 2008, Archibald has been charged with two counts of public swearing and intoxication, three counts of trespassing, one count of reckless handling of a firearm (which was amended to disorderly conduct), one count of driving under a revoked or a suspended license and one count of violating a burning code.

His most recent incident was in June 2011.

Archibald has also filed seven lawsuits in Loudoun and Clarke counties and one in the U.S. District Court of Harrisonburg since 2008 — the most recent one coming in September 2012.

People he has sued range from his sister, to an art gallery owner — who, he said, failed to give him an oil painting he had purchased from her (a suit he said he won) — to the Johnson Williams Apartment complex, where he had a dispute with the manager over what he said was a “predator” in the building.

He also sued Berryville News Stand owner Gary Masters, who he said discriminated against him by banning him from the store.

Archibald said his legal troubles occurred while he was suffering from alcoholism and dealing with the death of his mother and the sale of her house.

“I make no excuses,” he said. “I mishandled a lot of things.”

Archibald, who said he has been sober for four years, makes no apologies for using the court system/judicial branch of the government to protect his rights.

“I use it more than most people,” he said. “It’s the best branch of the government and the most fair.”

Archibald said that despite his previous scuffles with the law, his integrity is unblemished.

“I promise [voters] with all my heart that I will be a good and dedicated member of the School Board,” he said. “I am prepared for this job and will serve them well.”

Stanley Kelley, Archibald’s friend and a former high school government teacher, called him a “conservative type” and a “strong believer in the constitution.”

“He’s somebody that believes in strong education and about getting your money’s worth,” he said.

Archibald is a native of England and lived in Front Royal and Middleburg before moving to Berryville in 2009. He is a retired newspaper journalist and author who said he has covered education stories for much of his career, including at the Washington Times.

— Contact Rebecca Layne at rlayne@winchesterstar.com