Press Release Regarding The Search Of The Property of Terry Ross

Wise County Commissioner Terry Ross has cooperated fully with any and all inquiries by law enforcement over the past few weeks. Despite this fact, a treehouse (not a "playhouse") on his property was seized by the government yesterday afternoon without warning. Furthermore, this seizure of his private property occurred after law enforcement had declined Mr. Ross' offer last week to allow them to inspect the treehouse and had also declined his offer to provide documentation which would reveal that no county dollars had ultimately been expended on the treehouse -- a treehouse, by the way, which was a Christmas gift for children who had to witness its less than gentle removal by armed officers.  The lack of a courtesy call to a duly elected Wise County official is troubling especially in light of the fact that at least one member of the media had sufficient notice which allowed him to photograph the event.

Regarding other accusations, at no time did Mr. Ross direct, instruct, or order any Wise County employee to assist in the construction of the property.

At this point, it appears that the investigation is an unnecessary waste of taxpayer funds at a time when Wise County citizens expect those dollars to be spent wisely and judiciously. Although it is difficult to ascertain exactly what certain law enforcement officials are alleging, it would appear they may be concerned with only a small amount of material allegedly used in the construction of the treehouse which, even if true, would be valued at less than $100. And although the monetary value of these false allegations is small, the damage to Mr. Ross' reputation is great. 

Although I doubt this case will ever be referred to a Wise County Grand Jury, if that were to occur I am confident they would listen to all the facts, be advised of the applicable law by seasoned prosecutors, and then make a fair and just decision which would end this unfortunate spectacle.

- Barry Green

Attorney for Terry Ross