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ArlingtonLegislators sustain veto of police-auditor measure

Legislators sustain veto of police-auditor measure

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Arlington leaders probably were not expecting a last-minute reprieve, and they most assuredly didn’t get one.

The House of Delegates on April 27 by a party-line vote sustained Gov. Youngkin’s veto of a measure that would have allowed the Arlington County Board to employ a police auditor under its direction.

Youngkin had vetoed the measure by Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) earlier in the session. It was the first of about two dozen vetoes he issued this year, his first in office. All were sustained.

Hope’s measure passed the House of Delegates on a 65-35 vote, picking up support from more than a dozen Republicans (the GOP has 52 of the 100 seats) along with all Democrats. But It was uniformly opposed by Republicans in the Democratic-controlled state Senate, where it passed on a party-line 21-19 vote before being sent to the governor.


Youngkin vetoed Hope’s bill – HB 670 – on March 1, saying it was anti-police, a charge Arlington officials denied.

A companion bill by state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington-Fairfax-Loudoun) also passed the Senate on a 21-19 vote, but Republican leaders in the House of Delegates killed it in committee after Youngkin vetoed Hope’s version.

The veto does not prohibit the Arlington government from employing a police auditor, but simply ensures the position will remain in a chain of command that leads up to the county manager, not County Board.

Under the county’s charter, Arlington’s County Board only is allowed to employ the county manager, county attorney, clerk to the County Board and county auditor. All other municipal (non-school-system) employees report to either the county manager or various constitutional officers.

While the police-auditor bill garnered the most attention, Hope also had three others vetoed this session. The vetoes were sustained on party-line votes in the House of Delegates.

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