Vernon Jones walks into a bar….

It happened October 4, a Tuesday evening.  Three political operative-types were seated with me at Manuel’s at a table in the non-smoking section.  The former DeKalb CEO enters the room.  Vernon Jones sees us and makes a beeline across the room toward our table.

Not doing "the robot": V.A. Jones

I have, shall we say, a peculiar history with Mr. Jones.  I covered many of the controversies that followed him while he held office.  During that time however, we had an ongoing rapport that only occasionally descended into head-shakingly unhinged qualities for which Jones became known.

Since leaving office, I’ve seen him three times.  Each time, he’s treated me as if I’m his mortal enemy.  I wrote about the first one, which was genuinely bizarre.

In 2010, I saw him with a freelance TV photographer at a Nathan Deal campaign event at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.  So that I couldn’t hear him, Jones whispered to other reporters that he was shooting something for a cable TV show.  I resisted the temptation to engage him about his apparent conversion to the fourth estate and gave him a wide berth.

This was the third.  As Jones approached our table, I stood and smiled and greeted him.  He shook my hand and those of the other folks at the table, who also knew him.

What are you doing now?  somebody asked.

I think I’m going to start a web site to fact-check reporters like Doug, he answers.

That’s actually kind of exciting, I start to say.  Then his body language changes.  He assumes a chilly stance toward me while continuing to chat with the other folks at the table, one of whom has grabbed him by the arm so that he wouldn’t leave.

Hey Vernon.  I hear I should call you “Angus” now, I say to him.

Friends of mine who live in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward have told me about two different dwellings Jones has moved into over the last three years.  In both locations, Vernon has identified himself as “Angus Jones,” an apparent nom de street.  I’ve been told Angus is his middle name.

It was intended as an icebreaker.  It didn’t work.

Jones turned his back to me while continuing to talk with one of my table-mates.  Periodically, he’d spin toward me and mutter something about “reporters like Doug who can’t ever get their stories right,” then spin back away.

Why yes, sir. This is a camera in my hand.

He was at the table ten minutes, tops.  He never sat.  He spoke about me but never to me.

I was disappointed.  I still think that Vernon has mistaken me for somebody else — another reporter, perhaps — who really did give him hell when he was in office.  Dale Cardwell, maybe.  Except I’m pretty sure Vernon can distinguish me from Cardwell.

It would have been a bonus to actually have a civilized chat with the guy over a beer.  There’s a lot to discuss.

Instead, Vernon walked off.  “Always good to see you Vernon.” I oozed sincerity.

As he got halfway across the room, Jones turned back toward the table and finally addressed me.

In a loud voice, he pointed toward me and said Hey Doug!  I know who she is!  I know her name!

What was he implying with that? I hear you asking.  The folks seated at the table certainly asked.

Beats the hell out of me.  And I’m disinclined to overanalyze it.  It is what it is — another strange encounter with one of the strangest dudes I’ve ever covered.

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About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

27 thoughts on “Vernon Jones walks into a bar….

  1. John Anderson

    Doug Richards is gay! And Vernon Jones always kicks Doug’s. Keep your foot up his ass Vernon. You are the only one that gets under his skin.

    Reply
    1. Lab adab

      Vernon is the only one Gay…What about all the cover ups of the Vernon spats with his significant others. Don Frank covered those up and has now been indicted. Go away Vermin into a hole and stay there.

      Reply
        1. anderson

          you are right, a higher quality insult would be calling vernon “dumb doug richards.” doug is a fag, doug is a fag, doug is a fag. lol!

          Reply
  2. Mike Daly

    If he’s implying that a woman has had a child by you, then maybe we should remind him you’ve been happily married to her for nearly ten years! And we all know her name…it’s Mrs. LAF.

    Mike Daly

    Reply
  3. Bob Durkis

    I was employed by DeKalb County for 6 years in charge of Security. I was able to get an inside view of the crap pulled by the former CEO but by “Major” Frank. It all comes out in the wash eventually. Thank God karma smacked them both in the ass. The best thing that happened to me was seeing DeKalb County in my rear view mirror as I headed home to enjoy retirement.

    Reply
  4. george

    it’s so funny, after all the investigations, where is there one shread of evidents that vernon did anything wrong or been indicted? however, doug is going to after answer for his gay sins. and for the butt boy for doug who referenced that he was in charge of the former ceo’s security detail, why don’t you provided documented facts about whatever vern did. take your country ass back to the sticks and enjoy your trailer house retirement.

    doug, keep crying cost vernon won’t talk to you gay ass. by the way doug, what you did will soon come to light.

    Reply
  5. Amo

    Its Amazing to me that instead of you guys being disgusted with the Current CEO and his useless policies and lack of raises and Furlough days you can attack a man that ensured you had a job. Your Pension has nearly trippled since he has left office and crime is thru the roof. Maybe its just me but I might not have love Vernon but he was a heck of alot better than Burelll.

    Reply
  6. anderson

    bob durkis is a switcher himself. as a matter of fact, he and doug richards are switching with each other. damn faggots. channel 5 fired doug richards for being gay and channel 11 needed to fill the gay quota and hired him. i don’t blame vernon for not having a beer with a queer. vernon knew doug richard was slimmy. just like doug took that picture with out vernon knowing, he’s wanted to do the same showing vernon drinking a beer then calling the cops and say he was driving drunk and show the picture he took. vernon is to smart for doug and doug just cant take vj keep kicking him in the ass.

    Reply
  7. live apt fire Post author

    My WordPress blog info tells me that “George,” “Anderson” and “Otis” are commenting from the same IP address. Not that the prose doesn’t already give it away….

    Reply
  8. Paul Brown

    Its a shame Doug has nothing better to do. DeKalb is in worse shape then ever. This place is now know as city hall east because of all of the ex employees from Atlanta. When Vernon was in office we had it way better. Doug do your research on that. I bet you won’t report those facts

    Reply
    1. Bob Durkis

      I worked under Vernon’s tenure for 6 years. Employees did have it good unless you were a caucasion in upper management. While a couple whites managed to hold on by a shoe string, several were dumped. (Racism?) Maybe. A group from the police force was used strictly as his secrect service bodyguard team. What a waste of tax payer money. Donald Frank headed it up and let his rise in rank go to his head and was eventually arrested. “Hail to the Chief” was played at Vernons State of the County addresses as he took the podeum. I think he was warped enough to think his position was close to being a president. He, Cynthia McKinney and Rev. Eddie Bishop eventually got bit in the butt by Karma and they are now history. (Thank God)

      Reply
  9. Grayson Daughters

    This blog post is so funny I gotta… read it again! ROFL-d the first go ’round. Who knows what lurks in the mind of Vernon Jones?! Who’s brave enough to even blog about it all? He’s like my Corgi. No clue what goes on in that dog’s head, but some very odd behaviors sure manifest. Pretty much every day.

    Reply
  10. otis

    wasn’t it vernon jones who promoted both of the o’brien brothers to the ranks in management in order for them to have the jobs they have now as chief & chief. now the the white boys are in charge, whites are happy eventhough they are getting it in the butt by burrell ellis. whites never complained when they were in charge before vernon got there. vernon is an equal opportunity butt kicker. just like whites at dekalb kicked blacks in the butts for 182 years, i give vj the credit, he stood up to whites. whitey want it all. i hope vernon comes back and do it again.

    rednecks to stupid to know eventhough uncle tom burrell gave it back to whites, yall are still loosing your pay, getting furlough days and the white commissioners are screwing you to. lol!

    otis anderson – lol!

    Reply
  11. How Does Vernon Have So Many Houses

    Remember that time Hank Johnson crushed has-been, wannabe, corrupt-and-disgraced-local-politician-who-will-never-make-it-to-Washington Vernon Jones in a landslide?

    Reply
  12. gooberpeas

    in this age of “tolerance – inclusion – acceptance”…..why is “gay” still considered an insult?

    just askin’… ;-)

    Reply
  13. Alex

    Wow, with all the insults thrown around this is starting to resemble Creative Loafing’s political blog.

    And I’ve never considered calling or accusing someone of being gay to be an insult. What decade is this?

    Reply
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