ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 1, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Retired attorney Eric J. Bonetti may be one of the first people in Virginia to seek previously confidential police investigative reports under a new state law that takes effect July 1. The legislation, recently signed by state Governor Ralph Northam, has long been sought by groups advocating increased transparency and accountability in law enforcement, and provides access to closed investigative files, subject to several exceptions.
Bonetti, the plaintiff in several lawsuits against Episcopal priest Robert H. Malm, Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia, the Episcopal Dioceses of Virginia and Massachusetts, and St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church in Marion, Massachusetts, has requested records relating to complaints allegedly made by Malm to the Alexandria Police Department, alleging that Bonetti threatened Malm, his family and the church. Bonetti previously requested the records from the City of Alexandria via the state Freedom of Information Act, only to have the city withhold more than 100 pages of materials. The request also asks for detailed information relating to allegations Bonetti raised about possible corruption within the City of Alexandria police department's internal affairs unit. Specific lawsuits related to the request include:
- Eric J. Bonetti v. Robert H. Malm et al, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, case number 1:2021cv00190;
- Eric J. Bonetti v. Donald M. Haddock, Jr., filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, case number 1:2021cv00677;
- Bonetti v. Clifford et al, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, case number 1:2021cv00728;
- Bonetti v. Malm, filed in the Wareham General District Court of Massachusetts and as yet unnumbered;
- Bonetti v. Malm, filed in the Alexandria Circuit Court, case number CL 20002206,
- Three cases filed with the Virginia Supreme Court and not fully docketed;
- Bonetti v. Malm, filed in the Venango County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania, docket number 806-2020, and others.
The new statute is codified at Va. Code § 2.2-3706.1 et seq.
Eric Bonetti, Eric Bonetti, former attorney, +1 571-639-6346, [email protected]
SOURCE Eric Bonetti