Virginia

News4 I-Team Gets Results Closing Loopholes in D.C., Virginia

The News4 I-Team saw results this week following two of its ongoing investigations, protecting students in Virginia and single-family homeowners in Washington, D.C.

Thursday morning, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed two bills into law in inspired by the I-Team's investigation into teacher misconduct.

Last year, an I-Team report revealed loopholes allowing at least one teacher suspected of abuse to slip through the cracks and find another teaching job.

New legislation will require Child Protective Service agencies to notify schools and the State Department of Education when a former teacher has been accused.

State Dels. Mark Keam and David Bulova and state Sen. Barbara Favola sponsored the bill and joined the I-Team for Thursday’s ceremonial signing.

Earlier this week, the D.C. Council approved legislation that could save thousands of dollars for District homeowners and stop renters from holding up home sales. It closes a loophole first exposed by the News4 I-Team last year: Some tenants were exploiting a decades-old D.C. law to demand large sums of money from landlords.

TOPA — the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act — it was designed to give tenants the first right to buy the home they're renting if it goes up for sale. But as the News4 I-Team revealed in a series of reports, TOPA rights were also delaying or canceling pending sales and shaking down homeowners for cash.

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The legislation passed by a vote of 10-2, with Council member Robert White Jr. recusing himself from the discussion since his wife is in the process of selling a home. The legislation will come back up for a second vote April 10, then it would require the mayor's signature.

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