Top aide to Virginia’s governor paid by two political consulting firms, not state

Matthew Moran is the director of policy and legislative affairs for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and The Washington Post is reporting that his pay comes from two political consulting firms and not the state.

He’s on paid leave right now from the firms and is a partial owner of one of them. The firms are Creative Direct and LINK Public Affairs.

They both create campaigns to influence lawmakers but do not have any registered lobbyists. Moran told The Post that he expects to leave his position at the end of the legislative session.

Moran said in a statement to the WTOP that he doesn’t have clients right now that have business with Virginia and he is working as a volunteer for the governor.

“As senior adviser in the Governor’s office, I serve in a volunteer capacity and do so without compensation,” Moran said in a statement. “I am on leave from all companies and as a result do not have clients with business before the Governor or state government. I formalized this arrangement with counsel’s office and I am fully committed to my service to the Governor and the people of Virginia.”

In a statement, Richard Cullen, general counsel for Youngkin, said Moran’s position is in a volunteer capacity and is in line with legal and ethics rules.

“After reviewing the law, the ethics rules and precedents of other administrations, I made a determination about the proper way to work as a volunteer in the Governor’s office,” Cullen said. “It’s important for administrations, regardless of the party in power, to have the ability to attract talent and expertise as is the case here.”

He said that Moran has been serving without the cost to the taxpayer and the governor’s office has “been transparent” about his role.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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