When retiring supervisor Gerry Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) announced an endorsement for Dan Storck as his replacement, the release came through the Mt_Vernon@fairfaxcounty.gov email.
The endorsement followed Storck’s victory over Tim Sargeant, Jack Dobbyn and Candice Bennett in the June 9 Democratic primary election.
Use of the county email address in this instance could be viewed as running afoul of Fairfax County’s employee handbook policy on using information technology for personal conduct, as well as the Virginia Code.
Specifically, section 15.2-1512.2F of the state law prohibits employees of a locality from “suggesting or implying that a locality has officially endorsed a political party, candidate or campaign.”
Following the email Hyland’s chief of staff Brett Kenney sent out the following statement:
“I apologize for sending the email using Supervisor Hyland’s Fairfax County email address. When we sent the email, his Fairfax County address automatically populated in the from line of the email, rather than his campaign email address. It was a regrettable oversight. We should have paid more attention to the originating email address. No county time or resources were spent on the drafting or dissemination of the email. Supervisor Hyland wants the residents of Mount Vernon to know that the Supervisor race is a contested one between Supervisor Hyland’s preferred candidate, the Democratic nominee Dan Storck and the Republican nominee, Jane Gandee. Supervisor Hyland looks forward to a good, positive debate on the real issues confronting the Mount Vernon District.”