A spokeswoman for the governor said that Northam “is committed to taking the politics out of this situation” by hiring an outside investigator, but just to look into the Martin case.
But by limiting the scope of the investigation of the OIG investigation to just one highly publicized case, when there are nearly a hundred other cases in which convicted felons also were reportedly released without proper notifications to victims and local prosecutors, looks more like a political cover-up than a sincere attempt to expose the truth.
Bennett, now a judge in Virginia Beach who was appointed to the Parole Board by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, was accused of trying to pressure the Parole Board’s administrator and a hearing examiner to falsify a report, according to the OIG draft report. But it’s not just Bennett’s actions that the outside investigator should thoroughly scrutinize.
The draft report also alleged that current Parole Board Chair Tonya Chapman also violated state laws and procedures by deleting information regarding Martin’s release from the board’s April 28, 2020, meeting.
Why does Northam insist that the process be closed to the public when the Parole Board’s lack of transparency was at the root of this scandal?
The outside investigator also should have been directed to explain why the only person fired so far was Jennifer Moschetti, a senior investigator in Westfall’s office and reportedly the author of the draft report, who was terminated when she sought whistleblower protection.