Prosecutors and Public Defenders

Mall Cams Move Forward in Charlottesville

Jan 6, 2015
Photo: Hawes Spencer

For years, the city of Charlottesville has debated whether to install security cameras in public places. 

Opponents have successfully argued that surveillance in public places is an invasion of privacy, but with the disappearance and death of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, public sentiment may have shifted. 

Since 2007, Charlottesville’s chief of police has been asking City Council to install surveillance cameras on the Downtown Mall. This week, he brought the City's top prosecutor to make the case.

There’s a new controversy brewing - one that could mean trouble for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.  It involves a lawsuit on behalf of landowners in Southwestern Virginia.

They claim two energy companies failed to pay them royalties on methane gas wells.  One of those firms has given $100,000 to Cuccinelli’s campaign - and now a judge in the case says she’s shocked by e-mails from the attorney general’s office to those energy companies.   Sandy Hausman reports on the history of the case.

Tax Suit Raises Conflict of Interest Questions

Apr 1, 2013

The U.S. attorney’s office is investigating a Richmond area company that makes face cream and nutritional supplements. 

It’s called Star Scientific, and a complaint was filed in federal district court alleging the firm made false and misleading statements and failed to disclose potentially illegal transactions. 

The company says it has done nothing wrong. 

Meanwhile, reporters are finding links between Star Scientific and two of Virginia’s top political leaders – Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. 

One of the bills that Governor McDonnell has signed into law revises the rules that allow an offender who was wrongly convicted to prove that he’s innocent of the crime. 

Prosecutors and public defenders in Virginia are paid by the state, but on average, lawyers who work for the Commonwealth’s Attorney make 25% more than lawyers who defend the poor.  Now that  one public defender is asking for a raise, and others may follow suit.