Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Sheriff J. Samuel Dishman
On May 29, 1954 a trial was held in King George County Circuit Court wherein Horace T. Morrison, the Commonwealth Attorney for the County, was attempting to oust from office, James Samuel Dishman, the Sheriff of the County. The conflict had its origin in the desire of the Commonwealth Attorney to dominate the constitutional officers of the County and thereby attempt to have political control of the activities of the local Democratic Party Committee. All of the County Officers at that time were either elected as Democrats or were appointed with the Democratic Committee approval. The following transcript covers the actual proceedings of the all day trial and is concluded by the written opinion of Circuit Court Judge Leon M. Bazile. The opinion of Judge Bazile completely exonerated the Sheriff of all charges and delivered a sharply worded written opinion which was very critical of the Commonwealth Attorney’s motives and mental makeup.
Linked below are copies of the original trial transcript and the judge’s ruling. The trial was covered extensively by the local newspapers in King George and Fredericksburg.
- Attorney Outlines Specific Charges Against Dishman – Free Lance-Star – 19 May 1954
- Morrison Files Bill of Particulars in Ouster Case – King George News – 20 May 1954
- 39 Summoned Tomorrow to Testify on Sheriff’s Ouster – Free Lance-Star – 28 May 1954
- Court’s Decision on Sheriff Ouster is Month Away – Free Lance-Star – 1 Jun 1954
- Courtroom Jammed for Trial to Oust Sheriff – King George News – 3 Jun 1954
- Sheriff Cleared of Charges – Free Lance-Star – 23 Jun 1954
- Judge Bazile’s Lengthy Opinion Clears Dishman – King George News – 24 Jun 1954