House GOP Sends Hamilton to the Ethics Police
GOP House speaker William J. Howell and other top House Republicans decided Monday to ask the House Ethics Advisory Panel to look into the actions of Del. Phillip A. Hamilton, the Newport News Republican who is under fire for securing state funding for Old Dominion University while also seeking a job there.
Following statements from top Democratic statewide candidates calling for Hamilton's resignation, Howell (Stafford) issued a statement Monday sending the matter to the independent panel "to protect the integrity of the House." Howell said he has not asked Hamilton to resign, and Hamilton said he has no plans to.
"The seriousness with which I view this matter dictates determining the facts and finding out if any impropriety occurred," Howell said.
Although the panel has 120 days to review the matter, Howell said he asked that the review occur as quickly as possible. He added: "It is important to me and the citizens in whose name all delegates serve to know whether Delegate Hamilton's activities in this matter were legal and in keeping with expected standards of conduct for lawmakers. Virginia has a reputation for good government and I want to keep it that way."
The panel is composed of five members, including two former lawmakers and a former judge. If it finds that Hamilton knowingly violated the state's ethics law, the matter will be referred to Attorney General William C. Mims.
No word yet from Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell about whether Hamilton should resign.
August 24, 2009; 2:39 PM ET
Categories: Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009
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