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 Commonwealth Attorney Guilty of Malfeasance

Freedom of Information [Project FOIA]

HAMPTON - - The president of the Unalienable Rights Foundation (UARF) has accused the Hampton Commonwealth's Attorney of illegal activity in operation of her office by failing to enforce the state's conflict of interest law (COIA).

These violations, said David Lindsey, of UARF, involve both current and former members and employees of the Hampton Roads Transit Authority.

Lindsey, releasing documents he's exchanged with Commonwealth's Atty. Linda Curtis, told her, …"under Virginia Code § 2.2-3126.B. Articles 3, ". . .The attorney for the Commonwealth shall provide a copy of this act to all local officers and employees in the jurisdiction served by such attorney who are required to file a disclosure statement pursuant to Article 5 (§ 2.2-3113 et seq.) of this chapter."

Curtis told Lindsey, "In Hampton, the Clerk of Council shall, in writing, after consultation with the Attorney for the Commonwealth, annually advise all appropriate elected and appointed officials of their responsibilities under the Conflict of Interests Act and send therewith a current copy of the Act (Code of Va. 2.2-3100, et seq.) and the appropriate forms, and shall also refer questions to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney."

Lindsey said her explanation does not comply with the law. Even if she could delegate the responsibility to the city's clerk, she doesn't get and keep copies of the documents. Therefore, she has no way of knowing who has complied with the law and who she needs to compel to make the required disclosures.

Without Curtis having a list of whom she sent notices to and what forms they are required to file on file and then comparing that list to the list of those individuals who have returned completed disclosure forms to the Hampton city clerk, Curtis has not way to determine what members of council and various boards, commissions, and authorities, by state law are ineligible to hold office.

He wrote: "These individuals employed by the authority have overseen and maybe currently overseeing projects that run and will run in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars and currently these projects have known cost over runs in excess of one hundred thirty five million dollars.

These individuals are prohibited [The members of the governing body of any authority established in any county or city, or part or combination thereof, and having the power to issue bonds or expend funds in excess of $10,000 in any fiscal year, shall file, as a condition to assuming office, a disclosure statement of their personal interests and other information as is specified on the form set forth in § 2.2-3118 and thereafter shall file such a statement annually on or before January 15, unless the governing body of the jurisdiction that appoints the members requires that the members file the form set forth in § 2.2-3117. Virginia Code § 2.2-3115.A.Art.2] from working in the capacity they worked in until such time as they filed the disclosures."

This failure the law states appears to be proof that several …"class 1 misdemeanors, class 4 and 6 felonies have been committed by these individuals and the individuals the Code of Virginia assigns the responsibility for enforcing the Conflict of Interest Act (COIA), your office.

Lindsey said, "Due to what appears to me to be conflicts of interest in this matter that involves your office and the penalties associated with those conflicts and the related violations of law which appear to expand those conflict of interest I will pass on copies of all documents that I have to the Virginia Attorney General [VAG] and the United States Attorney [USATTY] that relate to these violations."

Lindsey concluded, "Take notice that UARF and Lindsey will deem your failure to reply within the statutory time of five (5) days to be a denial of our request and will seek enforcement of our request by filing a petition for writ of mandamus and/or injunction under Virginia Code Section 2.2-3127, including requests for attorneys’ fees and cost for enforcing our rights under FOIA, of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Take due notice thereof and govern yourself accordingly."

Lindsey, although the state law does not require him to be represented by a lawyer, has been represented on the Peninsula by one of the state's top trial lawyers, Tim Hankins.

He also has called in the past on a Internet network of legal staff who work pro bono on public interest cases.

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