Transparency News 6/11/19



June 11, 2019


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state & local news stories


Schedule of upcoming FOIA Council subcommittee meetings:

The Forestry Records Subcommittee
June 17, 2019 at 1:00 pm - House Committee Room, Pocahontas Building (Ground Floor)
July 15, 2019 at 10:00 am - Room 300A, Pocahontas Building

The Donor Records Subcommittee
June 18, 2019 at 10:00 am - Room 300A, Pocahontas Building
July 3, 2019 at 10:00 am - Room 300A, Pocahontas Building

The Phishing Study Subcommittee
July 15, 2019 at 1:00 pm - Room 300A, Pocahontas Building
August 21, 2019 at 10:00 am - Room 300A, Pocahontas Building

For more information on the subcommittees and their agendas, go to the FOIA Council website.

The former executive director of the Newport News airport and the promoter of People Express Airlines each pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal fraud charges arising out of the airport’s use of public funds to try to launch the start-up airline. And as prosecutor Brian Samuels reported the government had amassed 35,000 pages of evidence, with more to come, both former airport executive Ken Spirito and People Express’s Michael Morisi agreed to waive their rights to a speedy trial.
Daily Press

The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors voted 7-0 Monday in favor of raising their base annual salary from $11,000 to $14,000. The chairman and vice chairwoman, who each receive salary supplements for assuming those responsibilities, will earn $16,000 and $15,400, respectively. The pay for those two positions is going up $3,200. The raises, which required approval during an election year, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
The Roanoke Times

The amount of money Jennifer McDonald, former Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority executive director, allegedly helped embezzle from the authority has increased from $17.6 million to $21 million, according to Circuit Court Judge Clay Athey. Athey noted this increase during a Monday hearing in which McDonald was denied bond for the second time since her May 28 arrest on four felony counts of embezzlement. Those charges stem from McDonald allegedly doctoring invoices related to the Afton Inn renovation project to make personal credit card payments. Information regarding the increased amount of the alleged embezzlement is the subject of a special grand jury investigating the misuse of public funds, and all documents in those proceedings are sealed.
The Northern Virginia Daily

Emails that The Tidewater News obtained from the City of Franklin via a Freedom of Information Act request on May 24 indicate that the city — or at least its former city manager, Randy Martin — knew of security deficiencies in the city’s combined courts building on Pretlow Street since early 2016, yet took no action to obtain any written renovation estimates from architectural firms.
The Tidewater News


stories of national interest

Nonpartisan oversight group Restore Public Trust sued the Department of Transportation (DOT) on Monday for documents related to Secretary Elaine Chao's communications with her family’s shipping company. The suit, filed by American Oversight, comes in response to a New York Times report detailing connections between Foremost Group and Chao's husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the Trump administration. Restore Public Trust filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in December 2018 seeking copies of correspondence between DOT employees including search terms related to the Foremost Group.
The Hill