Virginia lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax has been accused by two women of sexual assault. He has been put ‘on leave’ by his law firm and several prominent Democrats have called on him to resign. Fairfax is defending himself, although he has agreed to take a leave of absence, it may be the end of his main source of income if he steps down.
Virginia lieutenant governors usually take outside employment, as is the case of Justin Fairfax. His law firm has taken the allegations against him seriously and has asked for sensitivity towards the two female accusers.
Meanwhile, Virginia delegates intended to introduce articles of impeachment but now seem to be backing off. They are hoping the General Assembly can find alternate ways to deal with this. Patrick Hope first suggested impeachment but has since been engaged in conversation with other Democratic members of the Virginia House of Delegates.
The members of the house said they are not prepared for articles of impeachment to be introduced. The General Assembly has said they owe it to all parties involved to look at all the options. Hope has been assured that there will be a private and independent investigation into the Fairfax allegations and that the women, who have alleged sexual assault, will be treated with respect and sensitivity.
One of the women accused Justin Fairfax of rape, the other accused him on sexual assault. Fairfax denied both charges saying he had relations with both women, but sexual interactions were consensual.
Patrick Hope may be disappointed that impeachment is not an option at present. By introducing the resolution, the removal process could have begun. It begins with The House where if the resolution is passed by the majority, the first steps in removal begin. It then moves to the Senate and then on to a trial.
The top three officials in Virginia are currently in the midst of scandals. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was shown in his medical school yearbook in blackface, with a colleague in a KKK hood. The Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring was also photographed in blackface, dating back to 1980.
The truth will hopefully come out through an independent investigation and the women, if assaulted, will have their day in court and justice.