Page Native Named To ABC Board

Posted: January 18, 2014

HARRISONBURG — Gov. Terry McAuliffe appointed Page County native Jeff Painter to the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Board earlier this week.

Painter, who owns a property management firm, has served as executive director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters and was chief administrative officer of the ABC board from 2008 to 2010, when U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine was governor.

Kaine and McAuliffe are Democrats.

It’s not immediately clear when Painter, an Emory & Henry College graduate, last lived in the Shenandoah Valley. McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy did not return messages for comment.

The ABC board is composed of three members. The previous board members, former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell appointees chairman J. Neal Insley and Sandra Canada, stepped down last week.

A third seat is vacant.

McAuliffe named Painter and Boyd Marcus, a former GOP strategist, to replace Insley and Canada. Commissioners earn more than $120,000 a year and, among their duties, approve administrative decisions on who can sell alcohol, handle appeals of those decisions and manage the appointment of employees.

Additional changes could be on the way for the agency. Proposals in the General Assembly look to reconfigure the board and also strip the ABC of its enforcement power. Del. Steve Landes, R-Weyers Cave, has filed a bill asking that the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission study consolidating state law-enforcement functions, including the work of ABC agents, under the Virginia State Police.

“State police was created to be the state law enforcement agency,” Landes said. “Over the years, we’ve given more and more law enforcement duties to additional agencies.”

He said the move could save the state money, too.

Another proposal from Del. David Albo, R-Springfield, eliminates the ABC altogether and replaces it with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, governed by a five-person board of directors. Members would be paid $50 a day.

Landes said he has yet to speak with Albo about either bill. Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, has filed identical legislation as Landes and a measure similar to Albo’s, proposing that the ABC board chairman stay a full-time member while the other two commissioners serve part time.

The Senate Rules Committee voted Friday to delay action on Deeds’ bill for a year.

Contact Preston Knight at 574-6272 or pknight@dnronline.com



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