Youngkin vetoes Arlington Co. police oversight bill

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday issued the first veto of his administration — of a police oversight bill from an Arlington County legislator.

HB 670, sponsored by Democratic Del. Patrick Hope, would have allowed the county board to appoint an independent policing auditor.

The county’s civilian police review board could have delegated powers to the auditor, who would serve at the pleasure of the oversight board.

Current law says that such an auditor is hired by the county manager.

Youngkin in a statement repeatedly said the auditor would be “politically appointed” and that the bill would put “unilateral and expansive authority” in the hands of “a single individual appointed directly by the governing body.”

He also said that because law enforcement officers are prohibited from serving on the oversight board, the auditor would be appointed without input from police. He called that “an undue burden for those who protect and serve the community.”

Hope said in a statement that “Due to a shortcoming in our Charter, Arlington is the only locality whose governing Board needs express permission from the General Assembly to make any hire.”

He added, “In my 13 years of service, I don’t ever recall seeing a governor vetoing a local Charter bill. To say that I’m disappointed the governor would use his veto pen on a Charter bill to make a misguided political statement is an understatement.”

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up