RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe today announced that, following a thorough legal review of the case, he will commute the death sentence of Ivan Teleguz to life imprisonment without parole. Teleguz’s request for a pardon will be denied. Teleguz was convicted in the murder-for-hire of Stephanie Yvonne Sipe in July 2001. He was scheduled to be executed on April 25.
Announcing his decision at the Virginia State Capitol today, Governor McAuliffe delivered the following statement (as prepared):
Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us. I am joined today by my Secretary of Public Safety, Brian Moran, and my Counsel, Carlos Hopkins, both of whom have devoted countles
For the better part of a year Mark Powell as a member of the board of directors at Total Action Against Poverty (TAP) has been complaining that the powerful nonprofit was dabbling in Roanoke politics. Powell resigned from the board out of frustration with what he determined was a breach in IRS 501(3)c code:
“all section 501(c)3 organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”
Powell says he was excluded from participation and attendance at a committee appointed to look into his complaint. The findings of the committee were not released but included an accusation that employees while on the clock at TAP were working polls, using TAP board rooms for assembling political material and using TAP property for candidate rallies. The answer to his concerns did result in a beefing up of the policy prohibiting political activity. Employees were to have received the policy to reinforce the rules on political activity.
Powell was campaign manager for Delegate Onzlee Ware’s opponent Martin Jeffrey in 2009. He is currently a district leader with the Roanoke City Democratic Committee.
Local mainstream media wouldn’t touch it. True, there is no silver bullet but for sure live ammo was whizzing by the President and CEO of TAP, Ted Edlich. Edlich attended, spoke and endorsed Delegate Ware in the foyer of the TAP-owned Dumas Center in 2009. The President of the Roanoke Chapter of the NAACP, Brenda Hale also endorsed Ware. The NAACP strongly prohibits political activity.
In 2007 a well-attended rally for Ware was held on the Dumas Center Stage when his opponent was Independent Mac McCadden.
In campaign finance filings $3000 went to TAP from Delegate Ware’s campaign coffers related to Juneteenth scholarship donations. Other money was paid from Ware’s campaign fund to pay a Juneteenth coordinator. Ware in response to the Virginia State Board of Elections said it was a loan he intended to pay back to his fund. Ware’s response was identical recently while explaining an expenditure to pay for a hotel stay at The Ritz Carlton in McLean, Virginia. He admitted that it was not all official business.
The IRS will make a determination of whether TAP was in compliance or not. The ruling could jeopardize 501(3)c status, multiple government grants including a Roanoke City Community Development Block Grant.