Transparency News 2/26/14

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
State and Local Stories


Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration has sent a letter to the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission calling on the commission to provide a detailed account of its spending over the past five years. The Feb. 20 letter, sent by chief of staff Paul Reagan, is addressed to Interim Executive Director Tim Pfohl and copied to the members of the commission — a group made up primarily of state lawmakers and residents from Southwest and Southside Virginia. “As part of our review of state government, we are looking at performance measures for state agencies,” states the letter, obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “We would like for you to provide us with the following information about the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.” The records requested range from fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2013.

Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio is scheduled to appear in court next week before a new judge appointed to preside over a recall petition case that aims to remove Delgaudio from public office. In response to a Feb. 4 request by Loudoun Circuit Court Judge Burke F. McCahill, the Supreme Court of Virginia recused Loudoun’s Circuit Court judges from the case and appointed retired Arlington County Circuit Court Judge Paul Sheridan to oversee the March 4 hearing.
Washington Post

Virginia motorists who have applied for a new or renewed handicap placard now have an easier way to track their order. The Department of Motor Vehicles says that by signing up for a myDMV account at , customers can follow the production timeline for their placards. The DMV says that 24 hours after applying for a placard at a DMV office or through the website, a customer can go online and see the delivery status.
News Leader

Federal prosecutors say they have corrected technical problems that effectively delayed the transfer of a vast amount of computerized evidence to the defense in former Gov. Bob McDonnell's public corruption case. In court papers filed late Monday, prosecutors disputed McDonnell's claim that they violated federal evidence-sharing rules. They said McDonnell's request for a court order directing the government to immediately correct the problems should be rejected because they provided two hard drives with the data in a usable format chosen by the defendants earlier Monday.

National Stories

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said in an interview Monday that there is no private email system in the governor's office similar to the one that existed in his office when he was Milwaukee County executive. He also said that as governor he has complied with laws that restrict public servants from mingling their official duties with campaign activity. Walker once again refused to say whether as county executive he knew of or used a secret email system set up in his office to avoid public scrutiny. On Monday he called it a "slippery slope" to answer specifics about the more than 27,000 records released last week, because "once you start on one thing, then there's hundreds of questions on each of those."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Indiana University says it is informing about 146,000 students and recent graduates in its seven-campus system that their personal data were inadvertently exposed to automated webcrawling programs since last March. Files including students' names, addresses and Social Security numbers -- stored in an unsecure location -- were accessed three times by automated data-mining applications, which are used to improve Web searches, the university said Tuesday. No servers or systems were compromised, and the information "was not downloaded by an unauthorized individual looking for specific sensitive data," the university said in a news release.

As the White House Correspondents’ Association starts to celebrate its centennial year, some of its members say access to the president remains the biggest struggle, particularly under the Obama administration. “The give and take of the daily experience is missing,” said Reuters’s Steve Holland on a panel during an event Tuesday, marking the association’s 100th anniversary. The panel even cited an example from Tuesday in which President Barack Obama had a meeting alone with House Speaker John Boehner in the Oval Office — the first in more than a year. Compton noted they found out “four hours afterward” and said that at the “last minute” still photographers were taken in, but not reporters, so there was no pool report.


David W. Boyce spent nearly 23 years in prison based on a wrongful conviction for murder and robbery. Expunging his court records would therefore seem to be a tiny measure of restitution paid by the state to a deserving recipient. Well intentioned as such a move might be, it is a bad idea — both in practical terms and as a matter of principle. While we are sympathetic to Mr. Boyce's predicament, we believe the circumstances here call for greater transparency in the public's interest.
Daily Press