John Adams' Statement on Backdoor Pay Raises In AG's Office

The news of backdoor pay raises in the Attorney General's office is very troubling, and a lot of questions remain unanswered. I am certain we will learn more in the coming weeks.  Mark Herring has a track record of refusing to defend Virginia's laws because they conflict with his political agenda, costing state taxpayers precious dollars in outside legal fees to defend laws that were later found constitutional.  In the voter ID case alone, $500,000 was used for outside counsel just in the early stages of the lawsuit, simply because Herring didn't agree with a law that it was his duty to defend.

Fast forward to today's news where we find out that Herring diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars of an asset forfeiture from Abbott Laboratories to raise the salaries of government lawyers in his own office, some of which appear to be political appointees.  This is in spite of strict rules that are in place to prevent such action – rules meant to prevent improper incentives for the oppressive use of asset forfeiture.  While it is almost certainly true that some lawyers in the AG’s office deserve pay raises, it is troubling that it appears funds designated for law enforcement were diverted – quite possibly to political appointees.

There is clearly more here than meets the eye, and Virginia taxpayers deserve to know exactly what happened. One thing is for certain, there is simply too much politics in the Attorney General’s Office.  I got in this race because Virginia deserves a lawyer who will defend the Constitution and run the Office of the Attorney General like a professional, not a politician.