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McDonnell Virginia Tech Appointment Criticized

McDonnell Virginia Tech Appointment Criticized


The board chairman of Virginia's state gay rights group expressed disappointment in Gov. Bob McDonnell for appointing attorney John Rocovich (pictured) to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. Rocovich served on the board previously when it repealed the school's policy against antigay discrimination.

According to The Washington Post, "McDonnell Thursday appointed John Rocovich, chairman of a Roanoke lawfirm, to the university's governing board. Rocovich had previously served on the board under Gov. Jim Gilmore (R), during a time when the board repealed the school's policy barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

"That issue has returned to the forefront in recent months, after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) wrote a letter to each public university, asking them to rescind such policies."

The Post reports that Mark Board, chair of the board of Equality Virginia, issued a statement that said the appointment sends a "negative message" about things including the governor's commitment to enforcing Executive Directive No. 1, which prohibits discrimination in the state workforce. Governor McDonnell issued the directive in the wake of controversy over Cuccinelli's letter.

A McDonnell spokeswoman defended Rocovich as an "excellent choice," reports the Post.

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