Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) applauded Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) Thursday for no longer allowing work groups of commissions to meet without public notice, and said his office would not investigate the situation as a legislator requested.
“Under statute, FOIA does not provide a specific enforcement role for the Office of the Attorney General,’’ Cuccinelli spokeswoman Caroline Gibson said. “However, we applaud the governor’s attention to this matter as well as his ongoing commitment to an open-government policy. As the governor has already taken steps to address the situation, the matter appears to be resolved.”
Del. David L. Englin (D-Alexandria) wrote to Cuccinelli after The Washington Post reported Saturday that committees that will make recommendations to the Governor’s Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring have been meeting out of public view and with no input from Democrats for two months.
Englin asked Cuccinelli to investigate if the commission and McDonnell’s administration violated Virginia’s open meetings law by holding committee meetings of the government reform commission without public notice.
But on Wednesday, McDonnell’s lawyers acknowledged for the first time that private meetings of committees violate state law if three or more members attend and discuss commission business. And the governor’s office said it will no longer allow such meetings without public notice if three or more members are present.
Englin said he has not heard back from Cuccinelli but that he would still like to know if McDonnell’s office broke the law.