A recent visit to the Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office yielded a surprising find: an employee apparently and openly violating state restrictions on political activities.
A bulletin board in the reception area, in clear view of office patrons and directly adjacent to the office of Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney, David Chapman, has flagrantly displayed for several weeks a “Women for Obama 2012” sticker—a pellucid endorsement of President Barack Obama’s candidacy for reelection.
Virginia Code § 15.2-1512.2 governs “Political activities of employees of localities, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and law-enforcement officers and certain other officers and employees.”
The law—which in section B specifically includes “employees of local constitutional officers” in its definitions of applicability—precludes government displays of political partisanship which might employ endorsement by the locality:
F. Employees of a locality, including firefighters, emergency medical technicians, law-enforcement officers, and other employees specified in subsection B are prohibited from suggesting or implying that a locality has officially endorsed a political party, candidate or campaign.
Patrons of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office would be hard pressed to miss the employee’s brazen Obama endorsement as would Chapman, himself, based on the sticker’s immediate proximity to his office.
An elected Democrat who mechanically stumps for his party’s political nominees, David Chapman has close ties to Charlottesville’s ruling Democrat Machine and might be expected to overlook such “minor” transgression.