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Attorney general: Congdon retains School Board seat

After a closed meeting of the Colonial Beach School Board on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 5 p.m., School Board Chairman Tim Trivett read a letter from Virginia Attorney General William C. Mims addressed to Colonial Beach School Board Attorney D. Patrick Lacy Jr., regarding the domicile of School Board member Anne Congdon.

In the letter, Mims reminds Lacy that Virginia Statute §8.01-636 provides the attorney general with discretion as to whether a writ of quo warranto is required.

A writ of quo warranto simply put is a common law writ designed to test whether a person exercising power is legally entitled to do so.

 “In this instance I do not feel that it is necessary,” Mims said

Mims states that “change of domicile” requires both the physical act of relocation to a different geographical location and the intention to remain in that different location.

Mims referenced The Supreme Court in Dotson’s test to determine whether the residence of a public officer has changed sufficiently, which states, “If a person leave his original residence with the intention of not returning, and adopt another, for a time however brief, with the intent to remain there, his first residence is lost. But if he left his original residence with the intention of returning, such original residence continues in law, notwithstanding the temporary absence of himself and family.”

Mims concluded: “It is my understanding that Ms. Congdon clearly intends to return to Colonial Beach once her home has been rebuilt, therefore the position on the Colonial Beach School Board is not vacant.”

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