Virginia State Sen. Clive L. DuVal 2d (D-Fairfax) was incorrectly identified as a delegate in today's Virginia Weekly. (Published 1/7/88) An article in the Virginia Weekly last Thursday incorrectly reported that David R. Hathcock, director of the state's department of commerce, served as press secretary to the state's attorney general under the terms of Gerald L. Baliles and Anthony F. Troy. Hathcock served as press secretary only to Baliles. (Published 1/14/88 )
RICHMOND -- Those who live by favors die by favors.
Last week we reported that three influential Northern Virginia legislators -- State Sen. Joseph V. Gartlan Jr. (D-Fairfax) and Dels. Clive DuVal (D-Fairfax) and Warren Stambaugh (D-Arlington) -- and other pals of defeated Del. Franklin M. Slayton (D-South Boston), were boosting Slayton for a judgeship with the State Corporation Commission, even though there is no vacancy there.
Now it appears that Slayton may be cut off at the pass by supporters of the incumbent, Preston C. Shannon, who has no intention of giving up the job without a fight.
The General Assembly names the SCC judges, and the recent hiring by the SCC of another defeated politician may spell doom for Slayton's bid for the six-year term.
Howard P. Anderson Jr., a two-term commonwealth's attorney in Halifax County, who, like Slayton, was defeated in November, has been given a job as a staff attorney at the SCC here.
Slayton's supporters said that appointment could assure that Shannon will get the support of Sen. Howard P. Anderson Sr. (D-Halifax), who remains an influential member of the Senate despite being rejected by his colleagues last month as president pro tem.
Slayton's bid for the SCC job, which would greatly enhance the pension he will get from the state as a result of his 18 years in the general assembly, has been a topic of discussion -- ranging from outrage to embarrassment -- at the governor's office, state party headquarters and even at the funeral of Sen. Peter K. Babalas of Norfolk.
"If Frank were so interested in keeping his pension, he should have campaigned harder for reelection," said one Democrat.
Critics of the Slayton's power play also suggested he might have a conflict of interest in ruling on rate-increase requests from Virginia Power, one of the primary utilities that is regulated by the SCC, because his brother, William W. Slayton, 53, is Vepco's central division (Richmond) vice president for operations.
If the SCC judgeship doesn't work out for Slayton, he might consider applying for a vacancy on the parole board, created by the resignation of chairman B. Norris Vassar, who has taken a position with the department of social services. It doesn't pay as much as the $78,000-a-year SCC post, or offer three and one-half years of retirement credit for each year of service, but if Slayton, a South Boston attorney, is determined to feather his retirement, it's better than private law practice.
More on the cronyism front:
Former state Sen. James T. Edmunds of Kenbridge, awaiting sentence to prison after being convicted of embezzlement, has shown up on the state payroll.
Edmunds, who forfeited his lawyer's license after he was convicted of cheating former law clients out of $170,000, is working as a $9.62-an-hour complaint analyst for the commerce department.
That revelation, by a Richmond newspaper, prompted Chris Bridge, press secretary for Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, to say that the governor didn't know about it, and wasn't happy about it.
Baliles has ordered Economic Development Secretary Richard M. Bagley to "look into it," Bridge said.
The governor might have called David R. Hathcock, his press secretary from his days as attorney general, whom Baliles has installed as director of the department of commerce.
It was Hathcock who recommended that Edmnuds apply for the job, saying "he is a person with immense experience and knowledge and was integrally involved in the establishment of this department" during Edmunds' eight years in the Senate, from which he was retired by the voters in 1979.
Edmunds' job is to direct consumers with complaints about construction and repair firms to the proper state regulatory agency.
If Hathcock didn't provide Edmunds enough of an Old Boy connection, Edmunds' lawyer, Anthony F. Troy, might have. But Troy, who succeeded Baliles as attorney general, and, like Baliles, was Hathcock's boss, said he had nothing to do with helping Edmunds get the job.
"He answered a newspaper ad," Troy said.
Edmunds job is not only part-time, but it's also likely to be temporary: He faces up to 20 years in prison, although no date has been set for sentencing.