Transparency News 3/6/13

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

State and Local Stories

Times-Dispatch: A Louisa County School Board member has retained a lawyer after serving as a sex offender’s character witness and reportedly accruing overdue taxes of more than $56,000.

Times-Dispatch: Del. John A. Cox, R-Hanover, says he will not run again this fall. His second term representing the 55th House District will come to a close in January. Cox said in an interview Tuesday that he was honored to have served in the General Assembly, but that he has decided to move on because he found no joy in playing “political games” in the Virginia legislature.

Washington Post: University of Virginia Board of Visitors Rector Helen E. Dragas responded Tuesday to faculty leaders who questioned her motives and processes in setting goals for the president. Dragas wrote in a letter to the U-Va. Faculty Senate Executive Committee that presidential goals are a “confidential personnel matter,” so she is limited in what she can share. “This reality inevitably leads to incomplete or one-sided coverage, making it even more difficult to fairly judge,” Dragas wrote in a letter obtained by The Post. (You can read the full letter from this link, too.)

Virginia Gazette: A day after James City County Supervisor Mary Jones voted against a Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization resolution backing Gov. Bob McDonnell's signature transportation legislation, Board of Supervisors Chairman John McGlennon said Jones should have abstained from the vote. Jones said on Monday at a special HRTPO meeting she was concerned about "passing this amount of a tax increase on to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia." She said while she was concerned about the transportation needs of the region she preferred for the state to solve the problem with the current amount of revenues collected. Jones also questioned the constitutionality of the legislation. Supervisor James Kennedy said he agreed with Jones' decision to vote against the resolution. "If it's not on the agenda, how could she discuss that with board members?" Kennedy said. He did say though, that he thinks the Board of Supervisors needs to do a better job communicating with each other about their outside committee and board assignments.

Times-Dispatch: A defamation lawsuit filed Tuesday by one of two Richmond police officers fired after allegedly making menacing comments during a campaign stop last year by President Barack Obama says a police sergeant with a personal grudge made false statements to supervisors and the media about the remarks and pressured his subordinates to corroborate the false allegations. The suit, which also accuses the mayor’s office of pressuring the city’s former police chief to fire the officer against department policy, was filed on behalf of former 4th Precinct Sgt. Kenneth B. Bayne, who was terminated July 6 after 23 years with the department. It seeks up to $5.55 million in total damages. The sole defendant is another fired 4th Precinct police sergeant, Ronnie L. Brown, a 17-year veteran who alleged Bayne suggested another officer could “pop off a few rounds” at the president, says the suit filed in Richmond Circuit Court.