By Lily Mulugeta
Mulugeta is a longtime resident of Alexandria.
This is in response to the editorial published May 28 in the Roanoke Times (“What’s next with Fairfax?”)
Justin Fairfax has asked for an investigation regarding the accusations against him multiple times. The Roanoke Times gets it right when it says the appropriate place to address allegations against the lieutenant governor of Virginia is the courtroom.
If a prosecutor can establish that a crime occurred, they can bring the matter to court. Persons disappointed with a decision not to prosecute or an acquittal are also free to bring a civil case.
But the Times’ editorial gives credence to a partisan hearing as a means of finding the truth. A hearing would be grandstanding and little else. Does anyone believe that the questioning would be impartial?
The Times’ may want to reflect on why the person calling for an investigation is Lt. Gov. Fairfax while his accusers have not.
And the Times’ editorial should have related important facts that have been previously reported in the Times. It’s important that Virginians be made aware of them:
1.) Lt. Gov. Fairfax has asked for law enforcement investigations into the allegations made against him. He asked for this in February right after his accusers came forward and held a press conference on April 3 to request this again.
2.) Mr. Fairfax’s counsel has reached out repeatedly to Boston and Durham prosecutors to request that they initiate criminal investigations into the allegations against him.
3.) Mr. Fairfax passed a lie detector test regarding each of the specific allegations and then released detailed reports on those tests to the media.
4.) Neither accuser has come forward with evidence to support their claims.
5.) Each accuser has rejected participating in the type of investigation recently conducted by McGuireWoods with respect to Gov. Northam. Businessman Robert Johnson announced he would donate $150,000 toward an investigation, but both accusers stated they would not cooperate.
Perhaps confident they could force the Lt. Governor from office through mere accusations, one of his accusers said, “I do not want to bw further embroiled in this highly charged political environment.” The other said that she had “no interest in becoming a media personality.”
Rather than participating in a judicial process, these accusers seek to try their cases in the court of public opinion – first by demanding hearings and then by media appearances on CBS This Morning.
Our system of justice is not perfect, but surely law enforcement professionals are a better solution to finding truth than politicians posturing at a hearing.
One would hope that the Times would strongly join the call for the accusers to make their case in court instead of wondering whether a political show trial is a venue for seeking the truth.