Governor McDonnell may not have broken the law, but as Virginia’s Attorney General, he turned his back on a waste of taxpayers’ money and something approaching fraud; specifically, the states’ contract with TriData to write the Governors’ Review Panel Report on the Virginia Tech shooting.
The legal concept in question, “willful blindness,” involves conscious avoidance of the truth that gives rise to an inference of knowledge of a crime. A crime may not have been committed, but certainly there appears to have been a conscious avoidance of the truth by then-Attorney General McDonnell involving unethical and highly questionable ties between Virginia and TriData.
McDonnell violated one of the basic tenants of his office’s Mission Statement, “… As Virginia’s law firm, the Office of Attorney General is dedicated to seeing to it that justice is served, wisdom is sought and the right course of action is consistently taken.” Look at the facts:
1. TriData, which does business with Virginia, was hired to write the report on the Review Panel’s finding. If TriData found the state’s largest university guilty of gross negligence and thus open to legal action, TriData’s work for the state would be over. Selecting TriData did not show “wisdom … and the right course of action.”
2. Virginia paid TriData over half-a-million dollars for a flawed report. There were over 20 errors or omissions in the crime-scene timeline. Only when the victims’ families called these errors to the governor’s attention were some corrected. The state rewarded TriData with another $75,000.00 to correct its own errors. How could McDonnell allow the state to enter into an agreement with TriData and not have a provision for correcting errors and quality control?
Then-Attorney General McDonnell stood by as the Tech report was turned into a canard.