A six-month probe into allegations of corruption and financial irregularities by employes of a Northern Virginia agency that last year collected more than $5 million in cigarette taxes has produced no evidence of criminal misconduct, Arlington prosecutor Henry E. Hudson said yesterday.
Hudson said he has closed a police investigation of the Northern Virginia Cigarete Tax Board, a 10-year-old state agency that helps eight localities collect taxes on cigarettes sold in the Washington suburbs. The board is run by the chief administrative officers of the member jurisdictions and its offices are in the Arlington County Courthouse.
"It is my belief that neither the board nor any of its agents violated any criminal statutes or ordinances . . . therefore this investigation is closed," Hudson said in a letter to the board's chairman, W. Vernon Ford.
"I'm very pleased to have this cloud removed," said Ford, who is the Arlington County manager. "Hopefully with this . . . investigation they have thoroughly plumbed all the allegations."
The probe began last May when detectives from the Arlington Police Department's white-collar crime unit seized all the board's record. Law enforcement officials have been vague about the investigation but have said that the probe was generated by allegations of corruption and interstate smuggling of cigarettes.