Mark Herring Gave Pay Raises To Bureaucrats, Failed to Address Opioid Crisis

Washington, D.C. – The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement on Mark Herring’s failure to address the opioid crisis while giving huge raises to his taxpayer funded employees.

“It is the job of the attorney general to work with law enforcement to ensure safe, strong communities,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “Mark Herring’s decision to use public funds to pay his political staffers huge salaries rather than channel those funds towards combating drug overdoses shows his priorities are out of touch with the citizens he swore to serve. John Adams, a former naval officer who hunted down drug smugglers, is the better choice for Virginia voters. He will put combating the opioid crisis front and center.”

Fact Check

According to the Associated Press, Herring’s office gave pay raises to selected employees in the Office of the Attorney General by diverting asset forfeiture money from the Abbott Settlement.

“Law enforcement agencies participating in investigations with federal counterparts can share proceeds of seized assets under Equitable Sharing programs run by the Justice and Treasury departments. Both agencies have clear rules that generally prohibit the use of such money for salaries and pay raises. However, the Justice Department suggested a workaround in a PowerPoint presentation obtained from the office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring after the AP raised questions about significant pay raises for several of Herring's employees at a time when state workers' pay was stagnant elsewhere. Some staff attorneys' salaries rose as much as $15,000 in a year — one had a 30-percent increase.” (Associated Press, 1/18/17)

Herring’s office provided raises of more than 20% to 16 employees, including 15 assistant attorneys general.

Between 2014-2015 And 2015-2016, Herring’s office reported grow pay increases of more than 20% to 16 employees, including 15 assistant attorneys general. (Richmond Times-Dispatch Salary Database)

The Virginia Senate recommended cutting $500,000 from Herring’s budget after the report about the raises.

“In other budget news, the Senate is recommending cutting $500,000 from Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring's office. The move comes after The Associated Press reported last month that Herring was able to give sizeable raises - as much as $15,000 in a year - with the indirect help of asset forfeiture funds. Herring raised the pay floor for 64 attorneys, with a median raise of about $7,000.” (Associated Press, 2/5/17)


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