Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Virginia Attorney General; Private Law Firm For State Officials Only?

This was recently sent to us by one of our readers.  It shows something rather disturbing and it comes straight out of the Virginia Attorney General, Mark Herring's, office.  We are reprinting the message below.

Thank you for contacting the office of Attorney General Mark Herring.  We appreciate your taking the time to write to our office.

            The Office of the Attorney General functions as the law firm for state government and does not provide legal advice to private individuals.  The Office advises state officials and represents the various state agencies and departments, as well as renders opinions at the request of state officials.  Due to statutory restrictions, conflict of interest rules and other policy considerations, we are unable to render private legal advice or otherwise assist citizens in legal matters. 

            Having said this and after further review of your letter, I regret that this Office does not have the jurisdiction to assist in this matter.  I encourage you to reach out to the Virginia State Police for assistance with this investigation.

            If our office can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Director of Constituent Service

The name of the reader that this was addressed to has been removed.  Now this is where it gets interesting.  The reason for the contact had nothing to do with asking for legal advice.  It asked specifically for an investigation into interstate fraud.  Looking at the statement coming out of Mr Herring's office, it would seem that the statement made is that the Attorney General's office here in the state of Virginia is to serve only as the private law firm for state officials.  

Let's take a look back in time to about the year 1902.  We are going to quote straight from a text book that was written about the Virginia Constitution.

 Elected. By the people for four years. Salary, $2,500 and mileage. Duties. Shall give his opinion and advice when required to do so by the Governor, or by any of the public boards and officers at the seat of government; shall appear as counsel for the State in all cases in which the commonwealth is interested, depending in the Supreme Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of the United States, the District and Circuit Courts of the United States for the State of Virginia, and shall discharge such other duties as may be imposed by the General Assembly.

 Member of the State Board of Education. An attorney is a person who acts for and in the place of another. The word is usually applied to a lawyer who is employed by another to act for him in any law business he wishes to have done. An attorney who appears in a court of law and acts or defends a person, or acts against a person accused of crime, is called a counsel.

 The attorney-general is a lawyer who is elected to do law business for the State. He must appear in court as counsel for the State in every case in which the commonwealth (meaning the whole people) is interested. The commonwealth is interested in every case of crime, because it is for the interest or well-being of the people that those who commit crime should be punished. If this were not done— if criminals, persons who commit murder or burglary or theft—were not arrested and punished, no man's life or property would be safe. The attorney-general must appear and act for the commonwealth in any of the courts above mentioned whenever there is a case in any of them in which the people of the State are interested.

Now maybe this is why we have Commonwealth attorneys throughout the state.  But it does not answer why this office should not be looking into any issues of Interstate fraud. 

Civil Government of Virginia, Constitutional Law from Chuck Thompson

This is the book where that information has been taken from.  See page 25 of the above book for that quote.

Let's now look at what the online information says about the duties and responsibilities of the Virginia Attorney General.


The duties and powers of the office of the attorney general include:[1]
  • Provide legal advice and representation to the Governor and executive agencies, state boards and commissions, and institutions of higher education. The advice commonly includes help with personnel issues, contracts, purchasing, regulatory and real estate matters and the review of proposed legislation. The Office also represents those agencies in court.
  • Provide written legal advice in the form of official opinions to members of the General Assembly and government officials.
  • Defend criminal convictions on appeal, and defend the state when prisoners sue concerning their incarceration.
  • Defend the constitutionality of state laws when they are challenged in court.
  • Enforce state laws that protect businesses and consumers when there are violations. Individual consumer complaints are usually handled by another agency.
  • Represent consumers in utility matters before the State Corporation Commission.
  • Collect debts owed to state agencies, hospitals and universities.
  • Conduct or assist criminal investigations and prosecutions in certain limited cases (for example Medicaid fraud, money laundering, theft of state property, environmental crimes, and computer crimes).
  • Represent the Department of Social Services in its efforts to collect child support on behalf of children and families.
  • Supervise the appointment and payment of private attorneys hired by other state agencies for various matters.
  • Assist victims of crime who are following criminal cases at the appellate level.
  • Provide information to the public on Identity Theft prevention and remediation.
  • Administer grants to help reduce crimes involving gangs, drugs and sex predators.
  • Administer the Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment Program to protect children from the most dangerous predators.
A complete list of the duties of the office is outlined in the Virginia state code.[2]

The above comes from this website.

But our present Virginia state Constitution says as follows;

Section 2. People the source of power.

That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

The Virginia Attorney General is an elected official.  That means he is a servant of the people, not the private law firm for state officials only.  Yet as we move more to a total socialist nation, we are seeing that the term elected official no longer has any real meaning to it other than our rights no longer exist.  It's right there in the history before your eyes.  One could argue that society has become more complex and therefore the need to limit powers to this office is much needed.  It's an argument that does not stand.  More complex than what?  It's always been complex.  The bottom line is this, that answer that came out of Mark Herring's office is unacceptable.  At the very least, a contact person should have been setup for the person and the information passed on to the office recommended.  It was not.  Why?  Was his office trying to send the person who contacted them on some kind of wild goose chase and good luck, don't come back situation?  

  Did someone just decide they did not want to do something that resembled work?  Imagine.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank You for taking the time to comment on this article. Please note, we moderate every comment before we allow it to post. Comments do not show up right away because of this.