Transparency News, 3/25/21


 March 25, 2021
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state & local news stories

The day after leading Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly asked Inspector General Michael Westfall to look into information from a whistleblower about allegations of misconduct by the Virginia Parole Board, his office placed that person on leave, according to emails. House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, both Democrats from Fairfax County, wrote Westfall a joint email March 4 asking him to review the allegations and find out if misconduct had occurred and to determine whether the person who shared the allegations with the party leaders qualified as a whistleblower. In the email chain, obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request, an attorney representing the whistleblower shared information with Democratic and Republican party leaders. Saslaw and Filler-Corn forwarded the information to Westfall along with their request. The Senate and House leaders withheld the whistleblower’s information from the FOIA response. “The accusations alleged by this attorney on behalf of his client are concerning,” they wrote. “With the authority and responsibilities granted to you by the General Assembly, it is clear your office would be best suited to follow up on these accusations and determine whether fraudulent behavior or misconduct has occurred.”
The Roanoke Times

Almost two years after a gunman attacked at a Virginia Beach city government building, police still have not discovered the shooter’s motive for killing 12 people, according to the final police investigative report released Wednesday. But for the first time, police confirmed where each victim died, and provided a more detailed timeline of the shooter’s movements throughout the building. The new report confirms a December 2019 Virginian-Pilot timeline that explains how the mass shooting unfolded. While the report rehashes information already revealed, it offers additional details that had not yet been made public. Police Chief Paul Neudigate said he is open to releasing materials from the file to the public in the future.
The Virginian-Pilot

Tempers flared during a nearly nine-hour meeting this week as the Virginia Beach school board debated whether member Victoria Manning inappropriately obtained and shared a staff training video. In the meeting, which started Tuesday and went into Wednesday morning, school board members Trenace Riggs, Sharon Felton and Beverly Anderson called for an investigation into whether Manning gained unauthorized access to the video by using her son’s computer and then publicly shared it. They said it put the Virginia Beach teachers in the video at risk. Manning, through tears, denied the claims, saying she and her son had been slandered. She said a teacher who had concerns about the training shared it with her. As the meeting neared midnight, she said she planned to call her attorney first thing in the morning.
The Virginian-Pilot


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