Court Dismisses Senator Lucas Recall Petition

Chesapeake Circuit Court Judge John Brown dismissed a petition to recall Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) on Friday. Conservatives in her district had obtained about 8,000 signatures to remove Lucas, alleging misuse of office, but the court sided with Lucas’ legal team who argued that Virginia senators can only be recalled by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Separate provisions in the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Constitution detail processes for removing elected officials, but the Lucas team argued that only the constitutional provision applies to state legislators, and that therefore the court did not have jurisdiction, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

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Virginia Tea Partiers Submit Petition to Recall State Senator Louise Lucas

After nearly a year of collecting signatures, Virginia Tea Party members turned in a petition to recall Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth). The petition alleges “Misuse of Office” as the reason for removal, and the grassroots group’s President Nelson Velez said it’s been signed by approximately 8,000 people – nearly double the number statutorily required.

On June 10, 2020 a protest erupted at the Portsmouth Confederate monument. A man was seriously injured when part of the monument fell down, and local police filed charges against Lucas for “conspiracy to commit a felony” and “felony injuring to a monument in excess of $1,000.”

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Virginia Employment Commission Lawsuit Reaches Agreement as Gov Northam Orders Faster Claims Processing

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is facing criticism and a lawsuit over delays while processing unemployment claims flagged as potentially ineligible. On Tuesday, in court-ordered mediation, the parties in the lawsuit came to an agreement. The same day, Governor Ralph Northam announced Executive Directive 16, requiring the VEC to add 300 new adjudication officers and make technology upgrades.

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Former Portsmouth Police Chief Greene Sues City, Senator Lucas

Former Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene is suing the City of Portsmouth and Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), along with several other civic leaders and current and former city officials. Former City Manager Lydia Pettis-Patton placed Greene on leave in the wake of a June protest at the Portsmouth monument that led to Greene’s department filing felony charges, later dropped, against Lucas. Greene was finally terminated in November. Her lawsuit bundles multiple complaints against multiple figures.

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Northam Snubs Herring, Endorses Jones for Attorney General

Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) picked up a big endorsement in the race for Attorney General this week. Governor Ralph Northam chose to endorse Jones instead of incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring, Northam’s former running mate.

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Virginia’s Robert E. Lee Statue Removed from U.S. Capitol

Virginia’s statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee was removed from its place in the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol by a crew of workers overnight.

Every state is allowed to have two statues on display in the hall and Lee has stood along with President George Washington as representatives of the Commonwealth since 1909.

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Bill Giving AG Increased Authority to Investigate Patterns of Misconduct by Police Signed into Law

Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill into law on Wednesday that gives the state attorney general additional powers to investigate unlawful patterns or practices by law enforcement officers and file civil action to stop the misconduct.

Introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), Senate Bill 5024 was one of several bills approved by the governor this week.

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Sen. Louise Lucas Does the Expungement Two-Step

Senator Louise Lucas is a patron for a bill that would expunge records of her current felony charges if passed.
Senate Bill 5043 originally was designed to expunge criminal records relating to marijuana possession and open container violations. The latest version of the bill is much more expanded. It covers 76 crimes – many of them felonies. 

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Virginia Wants to Pay Nearly $500,000 or More in Commonwealth Funds to Remove and Replace U.S. Capitol Lee Statue

The Commonwealth will pay nearly $500,000 or more to remove and replace the Robert E. Lee statue in the U.S. Capitol. In charge of the project is the Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol, created for the sole purpose of removing the Lee statue from the National Statuary Hall Collection.
The projected costs total $498,500 – funds the commission says could total more or less in the coming months. Their estimate comes from other states’ costs for similar projects.

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