Less than a month prior to his circulation of an aggressively personal blog attack on EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald, accompanied by corresponding swipes at the ITFederal project at Royal Phoenix and EPA Superfund cleanup efforts, “SuperfundResearch.org” principal Matthew Berdyck reached out to ITFederal CEO Truc “Curt” Tran by e-mail.
And for anyone aware of the content of Berdyck’s January 18 blog post, what is contained in that December e-mail may come as a surprise. – For if Berdyck was questioning McDonald’s integrity, Tran’s ITFederal plan, and the effectiveness of the EPA cleanup at Avtex, on December 23 he was singing a different tune.
“I have been paying attention to this IT Federal deal, for quite some time, because as a Silicon Valley transplant, whose business partner works for Facebook, I know the value of what you are bringing to town, the socioeconomic benefits, the value that tech workers can hold to our local economy,” Berdyck’s e-mail to Tran begins. “I for one, stand in total support of your efforts, and I really want you to move forward with this project … I feel very strongly about you bringing this data center to our town, and I hope you can ignore the haters, and make this happen … At the same time, I have fully investigated the site, and found it to be one of the only Superfund sites I have come across, in a long time, that was actually cleaned up correctly.”
That latter sentiment regarding the Avtex site is a far cry from what he publicly posted three-and-a-half weeks later: “Citizens of Front Royal can only rely on the statements of The US EPA, and Ms. McDonald, as to whether the site is safe or not. Considering that the US EPA has endured repeated waves of controversy over the mishandling of the clean up of the 1,337 Superfund toxic waste sites in The US, to the point that Erin Brockovich calls it the ‘Superfail Project,’ it’s hard to trust anything the EPA says, especially from our point of view, since we’ve been investigating corruption in the Superfund Project for many years.”
As for his “total support” of Tran’s ITFederal plan for the Avtex site expressed on December 23, twenty-six days later that support was reduced to total skepticism — “It seems Tran is not building the ITFederal site to service existing contracts, but is building his “top secret nuclear data center” to foster the creation of new contacts, using an ‘If I build it they will come’ mindset, which is more akin to gambling with Front Royal’s tax dollars than fostering a solid, reliable economic opportunity for Warren County residents,” Berdyck’s blog posted on January 18.
But if Berdyck was playing nice with Tran, and indirectly the EPA, in December, it was a different story for his newfound neighbors in Front Royal and Warren County. – But then I guess when you’re a well-connected, retired Silicon Valley hotshot with former partners deep in Facebook corporate, us Helltown rubes can seem pretty simple.
“Many of these people in Front Royal, they aren’t so smart, they don’t know what is good for them, and they don’t have the education to know any better. You have to forgive these people because they really know not what they do,” Berdyck wrote Tran of the public and media scrutiny he was facing in November and December.
Berdyck also describes earlier advocacy efforts to Tran – “In my career, I have fought all over the country, from coast to coast, exposing environmental atrocities, everywhere from small towns, to the largest cities in the county. Everywhere I go I get criticized, attacked, defamed, abused, insulted, threated (sic), and retaliated against, by the very people I am trying to help.”
Toward the end of his December e-mail to Tran, Berdyck says, “If you want to hit some dinner and talk about any of this, feel free to reach out. I’m a pretty well connected person, and if there is anyway (sic) I can help push this deal through, using my expertise and wisdom, let me know.”
Our information, albeit second hand, is that Tran did not bite at this offer.
Maybe such “well-connected” people from Silicon Valley just don’t take rejection well here in dumb, old, backwoods Virginny.