Transparency News 3/5/14

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
State and Local Stories


A cloud hangs over a state inspector general’s investigation that is supposed to give a long-awaited public accounting of how Virginia’s mental health system treated the son of Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, before he attacked his father Nov. 19. G. Douglas Bevelacqua, who led the investigation as director of the behavioral health division of the Office of the State Inspector General, abruptly resigned his position Tuesday, citing interference by office leadership that weakened the still-unreleased report. Bevelacqua, who previously served as an independent inspector general for behavioral health and developmental services, said the office had made changes to the report “that, in my opinion, will diminish the report’s usefulness as policy makers consider changes to the commonwealth’s emergency services response system.”
Daily Progress

Judge Paul Sheridan said Tuesday he will seek to appoint Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos to represent Sterling residents in the recall petition case against Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), this following Sheridan's granting a request for recusal from Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman. Sheridan, a retired Arlington County judge, made his first appearance heading the Delgaudio case at the Loudoun County Courthouse Tuesday morning. The Supreme Court of Virginia recused all Loudoun County Circuit Court judges from the case.
Loudoun Times-Mirror

National Stories

A Florida court technician has the job of blurring Justin Bieber's private parts on jail video before you can see it. The video will then be handed over to CNN and other news agencies this week under Florida's open records law, a Miami judge ordered Tuesday. It's part of several hours of video captured by surveillance cameras inside the Miami Beach Police Department's jail, where Bieber was held after his arrest on DUI charges on January 23.  Miami-Dade County Judge William Altfield rejected arguments from Bieber's lawyer that the video should be kept private.

Former security contractor Edward Snowden, facing arrest if he steps foot on U.S. soil, will participate remotely in a panel discussion next week in Texas about governmental intrusion into privacy, conference organizers said on Tuesday. Snowden, who is in Russia, will answer questions via video conference at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin on Monday on how the U.S. National Security Agency uses technology to keep tabs on people.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday said whistleblower protections apply not just to publicly traded companies but also to subcontractors that do business with them. The justices voted 6-3 along non-ideological lines in a ruling that extends whistleblower protections to investment advisers, law firms, accounting firms and other such businesses working for public companies.


Bad weather seems to breed bad decisions. So let's all take off our mittens and applaud Chesapeake public schools for doing something right. On Monday the elected School Board - instead of a lone administrator - will decide how to make up two days lost to snow this week. Chesapeake banks a few days every year through extended school hours, but this winter's severe weather exhausted those. Whether they realize it or not, Chesapeake officials are offering students an object lesson in American government with this open process. Let's just call it Democracy 101.
Kerry Dougherty, Virginian-Pilot

The city government of Beaufort, S.C., needs a change of culture and an attorney who understands the state's Freedom of Information Act and sees to its enforcement. Time after time, the city resorts to secrecy as if it were a private club. It is not a private club, and the public is getting sick of being left out of the loop.
Hilton Head Island Packet