RICHMOND – John Adams, the Republican nominee for attorney general, today joined former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in revealing that Attorney General Mark Herring appears to have diverted $6 million in funds that were earmarked to help victims of human trafficking.
In January 2014, Cuccinelli announced that $6 million from Virginia’s Medicaid fraud settlement with Abbott Laboratories would be used to fund human trafficking shelters. Because he was close to leaving office, the U.S. Department of Treasury requested that the grant process wait until the new attorney general, Herring, came into office.
“Human trafficking was and is a growing issue in Virginia,” said Cuccinelli. “In an effort to help provide much needed funding to shelters and programs across the state, we left millions from the Abbott Labs settlement for human trafficking, with organizations working in this space very excited to receive this support. But instead Mark used the money to give staff in his office backdoor pay raises.”
“This is yet another example of why Virginia needs a new lawyer,” said Adams. “There is a huge need for funding for human trafficking shelters and programs in Virginia and Mark Herring decided to turn his back on that. Money that was supposed to help people who need immense support instead disappeared. Herring very clearly has misplaced priorities and continues to put his own politics before Virginia.”
Last month, Adams highlighted that Herring found a workaround to U.S. Department of Justice rules to use funds from the Abbott Laboratories settlement to give selected staff in his office backdoor pay raises – including to his former campaign manager, as well as a former lobbyist who, prior to joining the Attorney General's office, "schmoozed lawmakers and regulators for corporate clients" according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
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