How many readers criticizing me for calling Cuccinelli out have bothered reading the actual Virginia statute?
Let’s consider something practical – like Mann’s failing to disclose the adverse verification r2 results – and see whether it fits within the statute. Cuccinelli doesn’t need to go fishing around emails to find this issue. It’s been on the table for a long time – it was even mentioned in Cicerone’s letter to Barton. Despite claims to the contrary, this piece of potential misconduct has never been investigated. Yes, inquiries have been formed, but they’ve all avoided this issue.
But the problem, folks, is that however much you want to fume about life, the Virginia statute in question offers no particular relief.
Here are the causes of action. Even if Mann were shown to have knowingly withheld an adverse verification r2 result, I don’t see how that fits into any of the following causes of action, all of which are structured towards relatively narrow financial things like fake invoices. Trying to shoehorn verification r2 statistics into these causes of action is the wrong case.
§ 8.01-216.3. False claims; civil penalty.
A. Any person who:
1. Knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, to an officer or employee of the Commonwealth a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
2. Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the Commonwealth;
3. Conspires to defraud the Commonwealth by getting a false or fraudulent claim allowed or paid;
4. Has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the Commonwealth and, intending to defraud the Commonwealth or willfully to conceal the property, delivers, or causes to be delivered, less property than the amount for which the person receives a certificate or receipt;
5. Authorizes to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the Commonwealth and, intending to defraud the Commonwealth, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;
6. Knowingly buys or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the Commonwealth who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property; or
7. Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Commonwealth;
shall be liable to the Commonwealth for a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000, plus three times the amount of damages sustained by the Commonwealth.
In addition to the above, the statute of limitation would preclude anything done in the course of MB98 and MBH99, as well as the trick to hide the decline:
§ 8.01-216.9. Procedure; statute of limitations.
A subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness at a trial or hearing conducted under this article may be served at any place in the Commonwealth.
A civil action under § 8.01-216.5 may not be brought (i) more than six years after the date on which the violation is committed or (ii) more than three years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known by the official of the Commonwealth charged with responsibility to act in the circumstances, but in that event no more than ten years after the date on which the violation is committed, whichever occurs last.
I don’t see any connection between Mann’s emails and offences under this statute. As such, Cuccinelli’s actions seem to me to be a capricious exercise of executive power.
People also need to realize that exercises like Cuccinelli’s debase legitimate exercise of executive power.