March 8, 2006
A ruling was handed down in favor of former legislator Mitch Van Yahres. The democrat has been cleared of allegations involving illegal activity during his political fundraising campaign.
The ruling was handed down by a Spotsylvania special prosecutor. He found the allegations had no merit and said he considers the matter closed.
Early in 2005, Republican leaders Bob Hodous and Steve Landes launched the investigation. They claimed Van Yahres violated state law by accepting contributions from his political action committee.
Virginia law forbids legislators from accepting such donations during the General Assembly. Van Yahres, a Democrat, claimed the investigation was politically motivated and says he's glad it's over.
"I knew there was no problem to start off with, but it's good to have the prosecuting attorney send you a letter saying 'you're clean, it's done with, no more black headlines,'" said Van Yahres.
Van Yahres also says it's unfortunate that the allegations went to court. He says the Republican leaders should have just called and asked him.
Van Yahres retired from the General Assembly last year after 25 years.