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Republican Leader Says Fairfax Investigation Should Be ‘Seriously Considered’

Speaker of the House Kirk Cox Craig Carper/WCVE News

Republican Speaker of the House Kirk Cox says he’s “seriously considering” ways for the General Assembly to investigate allegations of sexual assault against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax.

In a statement, Speaker Cox said that it was becoming “more compelling” that the legislature should look into the two separate allegations. He said Republicans were actively looking at ways to make that happen.

In their own statement, the House Democratic caucus said the allegations were criminal in nature and therefore should be left to local courts.

“We believe that the law enforcement investigation should proceed unencumbered and outside of the political arena,” the caucus said.

Del. Patrick Hope, who led a failed process to begin impeachment proceedings against Fairfax, disagrees with his fellow Democrats.

The two alleged victims “want to be able to tell their story,” Hope said. “The lieutenant governor also wants to be able to have an investigation to clear his name.”

Fairfax has denied both accusations and floated the idea of an FBI investigation.

The Suffolk County District Attorney in Massachusetts has offered to look into the alleged against Dr. Vanessa Tyson assault there. Tyson and Fairfax’s other alleged victim, Meredith Watson, say they’re willing to testify under oath in a legislative investigation.

Democrats say they’re still calling for both Fairfax and Governor Ralph Northam to step down.


Ben Paviour covers courts and criminal justice for VPM News with a focus on accountability.
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