TAPPAHANNOCK, Va. (WTVR) – Caught in the middle of “Pop star v. California,” there’s Neil Cobb from Tappahannock.
Cobb says he was recently questioned by the Los Angeles district attorney’s office asking if he accepted money for Chris Brown’s reported community service work at the Tappahannock Children’s Center.
“I never thought I’d be in the middle of this,” he said.
For at least 15 years Cobb has maintained the building at Children’s Center also known as “Tappa Daycare.” He claims that the only one to ever offer a helping hand in his work was his wife, and so he almost took offense when the Los Angeles district attorney suggested something else.
“She was like, ‘Did you get paid for work you didn’t do?’ and it startled me,” he said. “I’m like ‘nahhh.’ Then she asked if Chris Brown helped me and I said, “Chris never helped me.’”
But on a progress report from Richmond Police Chief Bryan Norwood’s office, there are a number of entries claiming the Grammy Award-winning artist got his hands dirty painting base boards, and stripping and waxing floors.
“7-31-2010, a Saturday,” I told Cobb. “It says at the Tappa Daycare, did Chris help you?” I asked. “No sir,” he replied. “He wasn’t there?” “No sir, he never helped.”
A city source tells CBS 6 that Chris Brown used his mother’s connections with a Richmond police captain, who’s now retired, to get a special community service program created for his probation. [READ BACKGROUND: L.A. District Attorney questions RPD and Chris Brown community service reports]
Brown was seen on several occasions working in police horse stalls and weed-whacking, but then supervisors said too much media attention meant he should serve his remaining hours in Tappahannock, where he grew up.
But at the Children’s center where the DA said things just weren’t adding up. Cobb received a call from a manager there. “I told the lady that the DA had already contacted me,” he said. I asked him whether that manger had ever asked him to lie about Brown’s hours. “No!” he yelled. “I never gave her the chance. I told her I’m not telling a lie.”
In a probation modification motion, the DA says there appear to be significant discrepancies in the service report. The DA’s motions say at best, the Richmond supervisors used sloppy documentation, and at worst it could be fraudulent reporting.
Cobb says he has been contacted to possibly testify in California.