Transparency News 12/3/19



December 3, 2019


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state & local news stories


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The Roanoke City Council on Monday accepted Councilman Bill Bestpitch’s sudden resignation from more than half of the committees on which he serves. Bestpitch said he’d been thinking of reducing his council workload in favor of volunteering more for nonprofits for a while. But Bestpitch, an independent, acknowledged the way in which council Democrats recently pushed through moving council elections from May to November in even-numbered years was a “tipping point” in finally doing it. He’s concerned the way the process worked on the election move is a harbinger of how the council will operate in the future. “We worked so hard for so many years to be a council that works toward consensus and absolutely no effort went into that this time,” he said.
The Roanoke Times

The Virginia Department of Health is warning Virginians not to use any third-party services to get vital records. The State Health Commissioner warned against residents to pay any fee for vital records application forms, which have and always will be free. Residents should know that the application forms are free, but there are fees for searches. All should be sure that any required payment goes directly to the Office of Vital Records.

The special prosecutor overseeing the December 2018 officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of a Hopewell woman is asking the state police to dig a little deeper into the probe before releasing its results. In a written statement, the office of Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales said last week that Morales met Nov. 16 with Virginia State Police investigators to go over the status of the “requested supplemental investigation” into the killing of Angel Viola Decarlo. Decarlo was shot by a Hopewell Police officer pursuing her in relation to a convenience-store robbery earlier that morning. Meanwhile, Decarlo’s family is pushing for proposed legislation that would require police officers immediately transport anyone to emergency treatment who was shot by officers on active duty, and to call for the public release of the identity of the officer who fired the fatal or wounding shot.
The Progress-Index


stories of national interest

Lobbyists were involved in drafting or revising opinion columns about health care written by state lawmakers in Montana and Ohio, officials said. Lobbyists were involved in producing the final versions of articles warning of the dangers of Medicare-for-all and other government involvement in health care, The Washington Post reported Monday.
The Washington Post