‘Going down like dominoes’: Virginia’s scandal-gripped gov’t debacle just snagged ANOTHER Dem

Scandals that have roiled the state of Virginia in recent days have now snagged another Democratic lawmaker.

Rep. Bobby Scott reportedly knew about the allegations of sexual assault against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax over a year ago, and he heard of it directly from the alleged victim, Vanessa Tyson, according to ABC News.

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In a December 2017 text message, Tyson allegedly told Scott there was a “MeToo allegation” against Fairfax, who had just been elected, unnamed aides to Scott told ABC News in a report Wednesday. The Democratic lieutenant governor has denied Tyson’s claim that he assaulted her at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston and said their encounter was consensual.

“Allegations of sexual assault need to be taken seriously. I have known Professor Tyson for approximately a decade and she is a friend. She deserves the opportunity to have her story heard,” Scott said in a statement to ABC News on Wednesday.

Tyson reportedly told Scott in an October 2017 email that she was “not a fan” of then-candidate Fairfax, Scott’s aides told ABC News. In another email to Scott in November, Tyson expressed that she would like “talk about it” with the congressman, who is the dean of Virginia’s U.S. House delegation. When she indicated in the December 2017 text message that there was a “MeToo allegation,” Scott was reportedly unaware that Tyson was the victim.

(Image: screenshot)

Scott, who faced sexual harassment complaints himself by a former aide four years prior, soon learned that Tyson was the one involved in the incident with Fairfax and that she had already spoken with the Washington Post. She reportedly told the Democratic lawmaker that she had given his name to the publication as a character witness.

The aides to Scott told ABC News that, despite their many years of friendship, Tyson never told him of her accusations about Fairfax until late December 2017 or January 2018. The aides also indicated that they did not know what the congressman did with the information.

In a statement on Wednesday, Fairfax shared that the last few days have been “emotional” as he has dealt with “an allegation that I know is not true.”

“Regarding the allegation that has been made against me – while this allegation has been both surprising and hurtful, I also recognize that no one makes charges of this kind lightly, and I take it and this situation very seriously,” Fairfax wrote.

Virginia’s Democratic leadership has been in turmoil in recent days as Gov. Ralph Northam has been under fire for a racist photo that appeared in his medical school yearbook. With calls for him to resign, eyes were fixed on Fairfax to succeed him but then the sexual assault allegations surfaced against the Democrat. As if there were not enough headline-makers, Attorney General Mark Herring dropped a bombshell on Wednesday, admitting that he wore “brown makeup” at a 1980 college party.

The latest revelation that Scott knew about Tyson’s allegations for over a year but had apparently done nothing to investigate or follow up was another blow to Democrats already reeling in the state. Reactions on Twitter were quick to come in.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
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Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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