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Abstract

In April of 2015, the Virginia General Assembly returned to Richmond for its annual veto session, with the main focus on putting the finishing touches on ethics reform.1 After lengthy debate and a number of amendments, the omnibus ethics bill passed the House and the Senate unanimously. House and Senate Members from both political parties touted the accomplishment as a significant step forward, as did Governor McAuliffe who called the legislation a “victory for transparency and accountability.”

This Article will argue the cases of Delegate Phil Hamilton and former Governor Bob McDonnell provide a framework for analyzing whether the new statutory scheme is likely to prove effective in preventing undue influence and corruption in state government. Part II outlines the cases of Dele- gate Hamilton and Governor McDonnell in detail. Part III discusses ethics reform in Virginia including legislation passed in the 2015 General Assembly session. Part IV concludes the article.