Shannon attacks. Misfires again.

3 Sep

Delegate Steve Shannon, Democratic candidate for Attorney General, has a new radio attack ad out against Ken Cuccinelli running mostly in the Norfolk market.  Shannon criticizes Cuccinelli for being the only statewide candidate not to call for the resignation of Delegate Phil Hamilton.

Vivian Page has the story:  Shannon releases ad, knocks Cuccinelli on Hamilton

But see, here’s the thing that Shannon doesn’t seem to understand.  If this goes before the ethics committee, there’s a good chance that the next Attorney General would have to review the case.

In the increasingly remote chance that Shannon is that Attorney General, he’d have to recuse himself from the case since he’s essentially already “ruled” on the case.

From the Code of Virginia: § 30-116. Disposition of cases.

If the [House Ethics Advisory] Panel determines that there is a reasonable basis to conclude that the legislator knowingly violated any provision of Article 2 (§ 30-102 et seq.), 3 (§ 30-104 et seq.), 4 (§ 30-107 et seq.) or 5 (§ 30-109 et seq.) of this chapter, except § 30-108 or subsection C of § 30-110, it shall refer the matter by a written report setting forth its findings and the reasons therefor to the Attorney General for such action he deems appropriate. The Panel shall also file its report with the Clerk of the appropriate house, who shall refer the report in accordance with the rules of his house. In the event the Attorney General determines not to prosecute the alleged violation, he shall notify the Clerk of the appropriate house of his determination and the Clerk shall send the report to the Committee on Privileges and Elections. The matter shall thereafter be handled in accordance with the provisions of subdivision 2.


Just last month Ken Cuccinelli called for a special session to deal with the U.S. Supreme Court decision that would force prosecutors to suspend drug and drunken-driving prosecutions. Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 11, 2009

From the RTDThe campaign of Del. Stephen C. Shannon of Fairfax County, Cuccinelli’s Democratic opponent, described the request as “a [public-relations] stunt that would cost taxpayers money.”

Governor Kaine agreed with Senator Cuccinelli and called the special session.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Not unlike a certain Attorney General campaign.

See also: 

Bearing Drift: Steve Shannon Goes On The Offensive, Recuses Himself From Hamilton Investigation


3 Responses to “Shannon attacks. Misfires again.”

  1. john September 3, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    I dont believe Attornery general shannon has to “recuse” to write an opinion. It is not within the ag power to impeach anyone. This is just a misguided statement. In regards to the “speacial session” dont you think coochh went around va helping criminals with a method of walking away from their crimes. Most defense lawyers would not have realized this ruling took place right away. Coochh made this a hot button for his own gain ,without respecting the safety of virginians. It s funny that one of the first persons to get out of their criminal charges, took place in coohh’s very own Fairfax circuit court. A reasonable mind would have to wonder about this.Hamilton is corrupt.

  2. john September 3, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    I also believe hamiltons corruption is a job for a federal prosecutor.

  3. Michael September 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm #

    So when the Governor called the special session was he also doing this for his own gain? If there was no purpose to the session other than to promote Ken Cuccinelli, was that a silent endorsement from the Governor?

    As for Shannon, his comments on the case would present a conflict of interest should he become Attorney General and should the Ethics Panel forward the matter for his consideration. He has in essences already given his opinion of the case. He could not objectively perform the functions of the Attorney General. He should have known that.

    As for Hamilton, I haven’t followed it closely enough myself to make the judgment call, but I suspect you are correct. And yes, as far as the legal aspect of the case, it may indeed belong in a federal court.

    But, as long as he remains a member of the House of Delegates such a breach of ethics IS a matter that must be addressed by the Ethics Panel. That is separate from any criminal action.

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