House passes bill to automatically suspend convicted local elected officials

NORFOLK, Va. – A bill to automatically suspend convicted local elected officials passed 95-1 in the House of Representatives and will now move to the Senate for further consideration.

Del. Heretick (D-Portsmouth) proposed the law, which would impact locally elected constitutional officers, city council members, mayors, and school board members found guilty of felonies.

Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) added an emergency clause, meaning it would take effect immediately upon being signed into law.

Burfoot’s attorney Andrew Sacks said there are legal issues with an effort by lawmakers to remove him from office immediately.

Sacks said the proposed legislation conflicts with other laws that give Burfoot the right for due process which includes his appeal efforts.

Sacks said even so, attempting to apply a new law to a conviction that previous happened is unlawful.

Ultimately, it is a decision that would be made by a judge.

Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot continues to remain in office, despite being found guilty of corruption and perjury in December.

He previously told News 3 he is innocent and will not step down from office.