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WVTF: What Should State Lawmakers Do About Fairfax Allegations? Print

BY: Michael Pope

Created: February 20, 2019

Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is denying the allegations of two women who accuse him of sexual assault. So what comes next?

Democrats are divided on how the General Assembly should respond to allegations against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax. The official position of the House Democratic Caucus is to deny the request of the two accusers to allow the women to tell their stories to lawmakers and have the lieutenant governor respond.

Here’s Caucus Chairwoman Charniele Herring responding to a question about a written statement from the caucus.

“The caucus’ position on this is that the General Assembly should not really play a role in having a committee and hearing testimony and maybe even having a public hearing."

“Again I think it’s the law enforcement that needs to do this, and there are prosecutors there for a reason in each locality.”

Republicans say some sort of legislative forum should be considered. And at least one Democrat isn’t on the same page as the official position of the caucus: Delegate Patrick Hope of Arlington:

“If I’m the only person in the caucus that is representing the views of Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson — I might add two African-Americans — then I’m that person, and I’m their voice and I will be their voice until they get an opportunity to tell their side of the story.”

Hope says the only real question should be how the investigation should take place, whether a special investigative committee should be created or whether the investigation should happen as part of impeachment proceedings.