Transparency News 11/5/19



November 5, 2019


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state & local news stories



Last night the Richmond School Board adopted the following provision for their legislative position document: "RPS supports policies to enhance transparency in the governance process overall. This includes revisions to existing FOIA laws to improve information access and engagement of family and community members in the governance of our schools, as well as policies to ensure public input and visibility in using private funding streams for public programs."

For more than two decades, several local sheriff’s offices have contracted to send inmates to the Hampton Roads Regional Jail. But only one has lost millions of dollars by not filling beds. In 2018, Portsmouth spent more than $1.4 million on beds it’s required to pay for but didn’t fill. A Virginian-Pilot analysis has found that no city spends as much money on unused beds at the regional jail as Portsmouth. The city and the sheriff remain embroiled in a legal battle over the future of the city jail, and Portsmouth’s use of the regional facility is entangled in that fight.
The Virginian-Pilot

The Charlottesville City Council made more changes to the structure of a police oversight panel before finally establishing it, although community members remained frustrated with the final proposal.   Councilor Wes Bellamy voted against it. The bylaws would establish the board’s meeting procedures. The ordinance covers the board’s composition, staffing and powers. The council will appoint members in closed session.
The Daily Progress

Some Culpeper Star-Exponent carriers said Monday they were paid by Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins to deliver flyers supporting his reelection. According to the carriers, Jenkins and some of his campaign supporters arrived at the Star-Exponent’s loading dock about 2:30 a.m. Monday and asked the circulation manager if a campaign flier could be delivered with newspapers that carriers were preparing to distribute. The circulation manager, after consulting with his supervisor, denied Jenkins’ request, Star-Exponent Publisher Dale Lachniet said in a statement Monday afternoon. Star-Exponent carriers are independent contractors and not employees of BH Media Group, which owns the Star-Exponent, Lachniet said. Without approval of the publisher, according to their contract, carriers are not permitted to distribute third-party materials, including political fliers, in the newspapers they deliver, Lachniet said. At least four carriers said Jenkins and his companions, after being turned away by their manager, later approached them as they arrived for work in an alley beside the Star-Exponent building, Lachniet said.
Culpeper Star-Exponent



Monday, Nov. 18, The Boathouse in Richmond. Tickets: $40.



editorials & columns

quote_3.jpg"This is not the first time Virginia’s execution protocols involving public access to executions have been challenged."

In September , four media outlets — including the Richmond Times-Dispatch — filed a lawsuit in federal court, challenging the Virginia Department of Corrections’ execution protocols. This is not the first time Virginia’s execution protocols involving public access to executions have been challenged. In June 1990, death row inmate Joseph Savino petitioned then-Gov. Douglas Wilder to televise his execution — arguing that the broadcast would both deter others from committing similar crimes, as well as trigger a public debate about the death penalty itself. While the current federal lawsuit does not ask that executions be broadcast, one might ask whether Savino — who was executed on July 17, 1996 — had the better idea. Why not broadcast executions for public viewing?
Todd Peppers, Richmond Times-Dispatch