House Speaker Calls for Hamilton Ethics Probe

House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) has asked an independent ethics panel to look into the controversy surrounding Del. Phil Hamilton (R-Newport News).

Below is the speaker’s statement:

“As Speaker, I believe in faithfully and impartially discharging my duties and in protecting the integrity of the entire House of Delegates,” said Speaker Howell.  “The seriousness with which I view this matter dictates determining the facts and finding out if any impropriety occurred.  Therefore, with unanimous concurrence of the other members of the House leadership, today I formally requested an independent inquiry by the House Ethics Advisory Panel into any possible violation by Delegate Hamilton involving the creation and state funding of a teacher center at Old Dominion University (ODU) while he simultaneously discussed the possibility of employment with ODU.  I already have informed Delegate Hamilton of my decision.”
        “It is my hope that the independent ethics panel will conduct and conclude its work as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible.  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 House Ethics Advisory Panel is an independent entity comprised of five non-legislative citizen members, who are:
·        The Honorable Alfred C. Anderson of Vinton,
·        The Honorable Bernard S. Cohen of Spotsylvania,
·        Phyllis E. Galanti of Richmond City,
·        The Honorable John H. Rust, Jr., Vice-Chairman, of Fairfax County, and
·        The Honorable William Whitney Sweeney, Chairman, of Lynchburg

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