The esteemed Democratic nominee for Attorney General, Steve Shannon, doesn’t know the difference between a police department and a sheriff’s office.

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested and/or indicted a number of individuals as part of an online sting that was done over the summer. The Democratic nominee for Attorney General, Steve Shannon, released this press release regarding the sting:

Fairfax– Steve Shannon, candidate for Attorney General, today commended the Spotsylvania police department for their work in finding and charging 15 child predators in an Internet sting.


Spotsylvania’s police department is to be commended for their fast and thorough work in bringing these twisted individuals to court and making their community safer for kids,” Shannon said. “As these arrests show, Internet predators are often hiding right in front of our eyes, living in our towns and even working in our schools. When I’m Attorney General, I will make sure that our law enforcement officers have the training they need to conduct stings like the one in Spotsylvania, rooting out Internet predators, and bringing them to justice.”

The problem? Spotsylvania County doesn’t have a police department, it has this thing called a “sheriff’s office”. See, the voters go to the polls and elect this guy called the “High Sheriff”, who gets to administer and run the office for four years. In jurisdictions that have police departments (all jurisdictions have Sheriffs, even if all they do is court security), the Board of Supervisors or the City Council hires a police chief on a contract who gets to run the department autonomously (in theory).

It isn’t as if this type of stuff is some obscure trivia that the chief law-enforcement officer in the state shouldn’t know. It’s kinda germane to his qualifications and skills, if elected, as the next Attorney General for this state.

If Steve Shannon knew the differences between sheriff’s offices and police departments, as well as which jurisdictions have police departments, maybe his opponent, Senator Ken Cuccinelli, wouldn’t be getting the coveted endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police today.

Steve Shannon (D) don’t know much about lawyering…

Right now, Steve Shannon is attacking Ken Cuccinelli for failing to support a bill of Shannon’s from back in 2007 that Shannon claims would have prevented the pending Charlie-Foxtrot regarding forensic techs being required to testify for drunk driving cases. The problem? His bill would have done no since thing according to “The Jaded JD”:

Most importantly, the bill is completely unrelated to the Melendez-Diaz decision.  Melendez-Diaz says the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment allows a criminal defendant to confront the forensic analyst who analyzed the forensic evidence introduced at trial.  Not only does Shannon’s bill not presciently recognize a right of confrontation, it restricts the ability of the defendant to object to the admissibility of the forensic certificate:


So, had Shannon’s bill become law, it wouldn’t have alleviated the current problem because it would itself be invalid under Melendez-Diaz.  What’s worse, by linking the bill to Melendez-Diaz and criticizing Cuccinelli for not supporting it, Shannon appears not to realize that.  That doesn’t inspire confidence in an Attorney General candidate.

You really need to read the whole thing as they say.

H/t: Bearing Drift.