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UPDATED: Special Prosecutor: York Committed No Campaign Finance Violation

© Leesburg Today - 09/29/2015

A special prosecutor assigned to investigate a complaint about Scott K. York's campaign finances has found nothing amiss in the Loudoun County chairman's disclosures.

Arlington County Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos said Tuesday that ""bottom line: there's nothing here.""

Loudoun Circuit Court Judge Jeanette C. Irby on Aug. 21 issued an order appointing Stamos to look into the matter that Hamilton resident Sally Mann brought to Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney James E. Plowman and to Loudoun Voter Registrar Judy Brown.

Mann contended in writing that York, a political veteran who was last elected as a Republican but who is running this year as an independent, incorrectly listed reimbursements on disclosure forms.

In a letter to Brown, she alleged that York made errors in at least 36 transactions that total more than $43,000 on 13 finance reports.

But Stamos, in a letter to Mann on Tuesday, wrote that ""no legal action can be taken at this time.""

""First, none of the allegations you have submitted constitute matters ripe for review by this office because the general registrar has not taken the necessary action to trigger such review,"" the prosecutor wrote. ""Specifically, the Loudoun County general registrar has not notified Mr. York of any incomplete filings and allowed him to supply missing information as required by law before referring the matter to the commonwealth's attorney.""

And, Stamos wrote, even if York had filed reports that merited review, the ""applicable statute of limitations would bar a prosecution based on thirty-one out of the thirty-six transactions you have cited.""

If Brown takes action on the other five line items, she wrote, the Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney ""will respond accordingly.""

Responding to news of Stamos' decision, York issued a statement saying, ""I am gratified by the quick disposition of a frivolous complaint filed in support of Charlie King's campaign.""

The incumbent was referring to the GOP nominee for the chairman's spot. Democrat Phyllis Randall and independent Tom Bellanca also are in the four-candidate race.

""Mr. King, as one of my three opponents this year, has had nothing positive to say to the voters of Loudoun County, and this is one more example of his negative, flailing campaign,"" York said.

The chairman said that there was ""never anything wrong"" with his campaign disclosures, and that, if there had been, he would have heard from the Electoral Board and ""made the necessary corrections.""

King didn't want to comment on York's assertion that Mann's action was taken ""in support"" of his campaign.

But he said that Loudoun needs an honest chairman who is ""not under an ethical cloud.""

""It's really time for this to be over,"" King said.

The Republican also pointed out that Stamos mentioned in her letter that her office would investigate further if prompted by the Loudoun voter registrar.

""It's not closed,"" he said of the matter.

Stamos' work made for the second time recently in which a special prosecutor was asked to investigate a Loudoun officeholder.

Also last month, Irby appointed Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan L. Porter to investigate two complaints against Sheriff Mike Chapman. As with the York matter, a special prosecutor was utilized so Plowman wouldn't be put in the position of researching a fellow county elected official.

One complaint was filed by former Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson, whom Chapman unseated in 2011 and who is running as an independent against the Republican incumbent this year. Simpson said that Chapman failed to adequately identify donors in campaign finance disclosures.

The second complaint was filed by Ron Speakman, who also ran for sheriff four years ago. He alleged that Chapman illegally obtained and published private emails for political purposes.

Chapman has denied the allegations of Simpson and Speakman. In addition to Simpson, he faces Democrat Brian P. Allman on the Nov. 3 ballot.

***

Original story:

A special prosecutor assigned to investigate a complaint about Scott K. York's campaign finances has found nothing amiss in the Loudoun County chairman's disclosures.

Arlington County Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos told Leesburg Today that ""bottom line: there's nothing here.""

Stay with leesburgtoday.com for more on this story.

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