House Dems to Speaker Howell: Get the fox away from the hen house
As the House Appropriations Committee met Monday to discuss additional cuts to the state budget, embattled Del. Phil Hamilton continued to serve on a committee that oversees state spending while under the cloud of a federal investigation. House Democrats renewed their call, now echoed by statewide Republican candidate for attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, for Speaker Bill Howell to remove Hamilton from the committee.
Old Dominion University released a report on Sept. 17 stating that there was “very little documentation” of Hamilton delivering services for the $40,000 annual salary he was paid from state coffers. The report further outlined that Hamilton had tried to land a job for a former co-worker at the same teaching center, presumably to occupy the unused office space also described in the ODU report.
“It is unconscionable that Speaker Howell would continue to allow Del. Hamilton to make decisions about Virginia taxpayer dollars given this scandal,” said House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong. “I believe he has lost the right to make decisions with citizen’s hard-earned tax dollars.”
“I’ve finally found something that I agree with Sen. Cucinelli on,” added Democratic Caucus Chair Ken Plum. “In this period of unprecedented budget strain, House Republicans should acknowledge that Virginia taxpayers disapprove of wasteful and shady spending. The House Republican leadership should recognize that they have an obligation to show they are responsible stewards of our tax dollars.”