A Virginia state agency that had considered hiring a Roanoke advertising firm with close ties to Gov. John N. Dalton, will not hire the firm.
The decision comes five days after a similar contract between the state and one of the governor's political advisers was canceled. Dalton, a Republican, terminated an $84,000-a-year contract Saturday between Edward S. DeBolt of McLean and the Virginia Travel Service after controversy over it brought charges of favoritism from Democratic Party leaders.
Robert W. Slocum, director of the state Division of Litter Control, said he had terminated talks with Mamie Vest Associates after the DeBolt contract was ended. "There was concern she'd (Vest) be tarred by association," Slocum said. "Admittedly part of the decision was because we didn't want further untoward publicity."
Vest, who has been active in the Virginia Republican Party for 21 of her 40 years, was Dalton's main advertising consultant in his 1973 race for lieutenant governor and worked with DeBolt in Dalton's 1977 race for governor. She was paid $48,124 for her work in that race, according to state records.
Both the DeBolt contract and Vest's proposal called for evaluations of state advertising programs and both were being handled by the state Department of Conservation and Economic Development, headed by Fred W. Walker, a Dalton appointee.
The governor and other state officials have said they were not showing special consideration for DeBolt in his contract.