Warren County Delegation Announces Legislative Initiative for Economic Development Authority

Oct 28 | News

October 28, 2019

Contact: 540-999-8218

Fauquier, VA – Today, Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham), Delegate Chris Collins (R-Winchester), Delegate C. Todd Gilbert (R-Mount Jackson), and Delegate Michael Webert (R-Fauquier) announced that they are working towards improving accountability, transparency, and oversight within the Warren County Economic Development Authority.

“Delegates Collins and Gilbert and I are closely monitoring the situation in Warren County,” said Delegate Webert, “We have begun conversations with attorneys at the ethics council, and will continue to craft legislation as more details of this case emerge. Transparency and accountability are needed more than ever right now to restore the public trust in local government. The legislative package we are working on will be laser-focused on addressing these issues so that we catch bad actors beforehand.”

Delegate C. Todd Gilbert one of the authors of Virginia’s ethics reform laws who also serves on the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council, stated, “Having worked on these issues for years, it is clear to me that we can and must do more to provide oversight and accountability to these economic development authorities. We are already in discussions about potential legislation and await the outcome of pending cases to ensure we have the best information available as to how to proceed.”

“I look forward to bringing integrity back to local government,” said Delegate Chris Collins (R-Winchester), “and making sure that we have the proper checks balances and accounting to ensure that we bring confidence to the citizens that this does not happen again. It is a priority for our delegation to find a solution to this oversight problem, and we will be working together to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Senator Mark Obenshain commented, “I am committed to passing legislation that will increase local government transparency and accountability that will help prevent another EDA scandal from ever happening again. Last year my bills (SB 1430 and SB 1431) passed that required local elected officials to receive Conflict of Interest and Freedom of Information training, and next year I want that to be expanded to cover appointed officials, including EDA members.”

Senator Mark Obenshain, Delegates Chris Collins, C. Todd Gilbert, and Michael Webert all represent Warren County in the Virginia General Assembly. The next General Assembly legislative session begins in January 2020.


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