House Speaker William J. Howell called for a state inquiry the same day that Democrats Creigh Deeds and Jody Wagner - candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively - said Hamilton should immediately resign his House of Delegates seat.
Later Monday, Republicans Bob McDonnell, who is running for governor, and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling issued similar statements indicating that it seems best for Hamilton to resign, given the circumstances.
Late Monday night, Hamilton continued to resist calls for his resignation, and he voiced his support for an ethics panel to examine his actions.
Last week, ODU released e-mails showing that Hamilton secured $500,000 a year in state funding for ODU's Center for Teacher Quality and Educational Leadership while asking for a job for himself. He and university leaders agreed last week to end his employment.
In a statement, Howell said, "It is important to me and the citizens in whose name all delegates serve to know whether Delegate Hamilton's activities in this matter were legal and in keeping with expected standards of conduct for lawmakers." Howell, a Stafford County Republican, also noted in the statement that other House leaders support that position.
Virginia's conflict-of-interest law bars lawmakers from accepting money for services performed within the scope of their legislative duties. Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Any formal request for an ethics inquiry of a state delegate triggers a review by a five-member House ethics advisory panel, which can forward its findings to the attorney general for possible prosecution. Ordinarily, such reviews are confidential.
House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong, D-Henry, urged Republican leaders to have a committee of legislators conduct a public investigation instead.
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