McAuliffe Cabinet Appointee Draws Scrutiny in Virginia

Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 10:41 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe's first cabinet appointee, a former executive in McAuliffe's scandal-tainted electric car company GreenTech Automotive, is already coming under scrutiny.

Levar Stoney, McAuliffe's deputy campaign manager, will serve as secretary of the commonweath, McAuliffe announced Monday.

A day later, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Stoney, before joining McAuliffe's campaign, served for three years as director of public and government affairs for GreenTech.

GreenTech is under multiple federal investigations regarding its improper use of a foreign investor visa program, the newspaper noted.

The Free Beacon had also reported in March that Stoney admitted to having a part in covering up mass property destruction committed by Democratic operatives in Wisconsin on Election Day in 2004.

Slate.com on Tuesday derided the Stoney appointment as a "quid-pro quo,"
and slammed McAuliffe as a self-described political insider with "the public office experience of Arnold Schwarzenegger — which is to say, none."

The Richmond Times-Dispatch thought no better of the governor-elect before his razor-thin election win, noting in an editorial: "His ignorance of state government is laughable and makes Rick Perry, the notorious governor of Texas, look like a Founding Father."

When Stoney takes on the job of secretary of the commonwealth, it'll be his first experience in a government post, says Watchdog.org.

But his list of duties are significant, the organization points out, including managing extraditions, clemency petitions, service of process, restoration of voting rights, pardons, authenticating foreign adoption documents, certifying notary publics and handling lobbyist registration, disclosures, and conflict-of-interest filings.

He'll also be responsible for more than 4,000 appointments to state boards and commissions, Slate magazine noted.

The cabinet-level position pays $155,849 a year.

McAuliffe's other appointments announced Monday included current Secretary of Finance Richard Brown, Paul Reagan as chief of staff, and Suzette Denslow as deputy chief of staff.

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