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Even before he was officially sworn in on Saturday as Virginia’s new GOP attorney general, Jason Miyares began making changes.
He reportedly fired about 30 staff members, including 17 attorneys, as part of a new direction for the office.
“During the campaign, it was made clear that now Attorney General-elect Miyares and Attorney General Herring have very different visions for the office. We are restructuring the office, as every incoming AG has done in the past,” his spokesperson Victoria LaCivita explained in an email, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The news outlet appeared to be lamenting that an investigation into housing discrimination, particularly at Richmond apartment complex, would be disrupted. LaCivita noted, however, that “Just because personnel changes have been made does not mean their work will not be picked up. As the Attorney General-elect has said, when he gets into his office he and his team will look at every lawsuit, investigation and opinion with a fresh perspective.”
Miyares also plans to seek legislative approval for his office to intervene in cases that local prosecutors haven’t pursued. “I’m thinking specifically of some of the so-called social justice commonwealth’s attorneys that have been elected particularly in Northern Virginia,” he said shortly after the November election. “We are obviously aware of some pretty horrific cases where they failed to do their job.”
Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the state’s first Republican chief executive since 2009, didn’t waste any time either, signing 11 executive orders on day one, including authorizing Miyares to investigate wrongdoing in Loudoun County and to reform the parole board.
“One of the reasons Virginians get so fed up with government is the lack of transparency – and that’s a big issue here. The Virginia Parole Board broke the law when they let out murders, rapists, and cop killers early on their sentences without notifying the victims. Loudoun Country Public Schools covered up a sexual assault on school grounds for political gain, leading to an additional assault of a young girl,” Miyares asserted in a statement.”
Voters also elected Republican Winsome Sears who is the first woman of color, and only the second woman, to hold a statewide office in Virginia, as lieutenant governor. In Virginia, the governor can only serve one consecutive term. If the Youngkin administration turns out to be successful, Sears would be well-positioned to seek the top job in 2025.
In a series of tweets, Democrat Louise Lucas, the president pro tempore of the state senate, which is under narrow control of her party, took to Twitter to bemoan the AG firings. Republicans won control, also narrowly, of the lower chamber, the House of Delegates, in the November 2021 election.
I've been told incoming AG @JasonMiyaresVA just FIRED the entire civil rights division in the Attorney General's office. My bill helped create and expand the authority that this division uses.
— L. Louise Lucas (@SenLouiseLucas) January 14, 2022
Responding to the senator’s tweets, LaCivita insisted, “This is incorrect information. There are 12 individuals who work in the Office of Civil Rights – only two personnel changes were made,” Fox News reported.
Outside of dyed-in-the-wool liberals, many Twitter users are suggesting that AG Miyares is off to a good start. Here is a sampling:
This is a great sign of hope that things can get better. Every new AG should take note. These Soros DAs are destroying every city they get their hands on. https://t.co/AjXYWk3TpR
— Amanda Milius (@AmandaMilius) January 15, 2022
Exactly the way to do it. No need to try to bargain with these people. Just get rid of them.
— Kimono (@reveredkimono) January 15, 2022
2 of 12 is not “the entire office”, senator.
— J.R. Hoeft (@jrhoeft) January 14, 2022
Let’s hope that he sets an example for other AGs in other states. Republicans have to stop complaining and start acting.
— Profile 1776 🖍 (@bob32ski) January 15, 2022
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 (@ChristinaPushaw) January 15, 2022
— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) January 16, 2022
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