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House Democrats Join the Hamilton Fray

Amy Gardner

House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong of Henry County has weighed in on the flap over Republican Del. Phillip A. Hamilton of Newport News, who is under fire for asking for a job at Old Dominion University while also securing for the school a $500,000 annual state appropriation.

Armstrong criticized Republican House leaders for referring the matter to a legislative ethics panel, which he said typically meets behind closed doors, instead of sending it to the House Privileges and Elections Committee, which is open.

"Unfortunately, a lack of transparency is what led to this situation in the first place. Delegate Hamilton is a public official, and any investigation into his actions should be conducted in full view of the citizens of Virginia," Armstrong said.

"We cannot risk losing the public's trust in our institution by continuing to cloak this incident in secrecy."

Still no word from Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell on whether he thinks Hamilton should resign.

By Amy Gardner  |  August 24, 2009; 5:50 PM ET
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009  
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This delegate has lost the public trust with his ethics violations. The saddest element is that he does not seem to recognize that what he has done is wrong. If ethics rules for the House of Delegates permit this type of behavior, they need to be reviewed and rewritten. A special session of the General Assembly may be needed before election day to officially reprimand him so voters know clearly the seriousness of his offenses.

Posted by: Viewpoint2 | August 24, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

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