Bill to suspend convicted elected officials could take effect immediately

Posted at 12:58 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 16:33:45-05

NORFOLK, Va. – A bill to automatically suspend convicted local elected officials now includes an amendment to have the law take effect immediately, according to Del. Steve Heretick’s office.

Del. Heretick (D-Portsmouth) proposed the law, which would impact locally elected constitutional officers, city council members, mayors, and school board members found guilty of felonies.

Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) added an emergency clause, meaning it would take effect immediately upon being signed into law. With the amendment, 80% of members must approve. A vote is expected Monday. The bill could still be approved with a simple majority, but would take effect on July 1. If approved, it will head to the Senate for further consideration.

Burfoot’s attorney Andrew Sacks said there are legal issues with an effort by lawmakers to remove him from office immediately.

Sacks said the proposed legislation conflicts with other laws that give Burfoot the right for due process which includes his appeal efforts.

Sacks said even so, attempting to apply a new law to a conviction that previous happened is unlawful.

Ultimately, it is a decision that would be made by a judge.

Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot continues to remain in office, despite being found guilty of corruption and perjury in December.

He previously told News 3 he is innocent and will not step down from office.