Va. Governor Putting Together Ethics Commission

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is putting together a new ethics commission and asking it to come up with concrete proposals on how to improve Virginia's image in the wake of the former Gov. Bob McDonnell's corruption conviction.

The governor said at a Capitol news conference Thursday that the commission would be looking at several items, including gift rules for lawmakers, the judicial selection process, and conflict-of-interest rules involving other state commissions.

The Associated Press reported earlier this month that the Virginia tobacco commission has given $21 million to an economic development group and a telephone cooperative run by family members of the commission's chairman.

McAuliffe appointed former U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, a Democrat, and former GOP Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling as co-chairmen of the new ethics commission.

Democratic and Republican officials have pledged to strengthen the state's ethics laws following McDonnell's conviction. A jury found McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty earlier this month of several corruption charges after they accepted more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company's dietary supplements.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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