- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - In a story March 26 about a report on an attack on a Virginia state senator by his son, The Associated Press reported erroneously the surname of the executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government. Her name is Megan Rhyne, not Rhyme.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Probe delays release of Va. senator attack report

Police investigation delays release of report on attack on Virginia senator by his son

A state police investigation has delayed the public release of a report on an attack on a Virginia state senator by his son.

The Office of the Inspector General investigated what happened to Austin “Gus” Deeds, 24, who attacked his father, Sen. Creigh Deeds, with a knife on Nov. 19, 2013, at their rural homestead in Bath County and then killed himself. The younger Deeds had been released the previous day from an emergency custody order because a psychiatric bed could not be found for him.

Virginia State Police requested that the report, which was completed March 10, be withheld from the public until the agency completes an investigation and prosecutors determine whether to file criminal charges, Inspector General Michael Morehart told The Daily Progress (http://bit.ly/QeYwSm).

Morehart said he could not provide legal justification for withholding the report.

“There is no citation in the code on that. It’s professional judgment,” he said.

State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told the newspaper in an email that the agency asked Morehart to withhold the report from the public until Bath County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Singleton reviewed the findings of the criminal investigation.

Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, said the report is a public record and should be made public regardless of whether state police asked for it to be withheld.

Morehart said he feared releasing the report could affect the state police investigation.

“You don’t want to obstruct justice and somehow hamper a criminal investigation,” he said.

Morehart said his office and state police coordinated their efforts in the Deeds case to avoid duplication. He said he was determined not to let public interest thwart an intentionally deliberate process.

“We’re held to a very high standard,” he said. “That’s why this takes a lot of time.”

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