CULPEPER, Va. (7News) — Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins appears to have violated prohibited political activity, according to the town personnel and employee handbook.
Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger’s campaign is airing television ads that include Chief Jenkins endorsing Spanberger while wearing his uniform on town property and using his position on behalf of a political party.
Under Section 4.3 of the TOWN OF CULPEPER PERSONNEL POLICIES AND EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK:
“Town employees may participate in political activities while they are off duty, out of uniform and not on the premises of their employment with the Town. An employee may register to vote and may vote while dressed in Town uniforms or clothing. Town employees shall not engage in other political activities while in Town uniforms or clothing. Employees shall not engage in political activities while performing official duties for the Town or use any Town property or equipment to engage in political activity.”
READ | Congressional race between Spanberger and Vega heats up with weeks until election
"No employee shall use the prestige of his/her position on behalf of any political organization or party. For purposes of this Handbook, a “political organization” shall be defined as “any group, formal or informal, which endorses candidates for elective office at any level of government—national, state or local.”
"I'm a Republican and I'm supporting Abigail Spanberger because she puts country and community over party,” Jenkins said in the ad.
On Wednesday, 7News reached out to the Culpeper Police Department and Chief Jenkins for a comment and we still haven't heard from the department. As of Thursday, the police department spokesperson and Jenkins did not return 7News' request for comment.
"When Yesli Vega, a police officer, said she doubts rape leads to pregnancy, I was shocked," Jenkins said in Spanberger’s campaign ad.
On Thursday, 7News asked Vega about her stance on abortion.
“I am pro-life,” Vega told 7News. “I believe in the three exceptions, the life of the mother, horrible cases of rape, and incest. I find it appalling my opponent would mislead and misrepresent a conversation that I had with, by the way, one of her trackers to score cheap political points. As a law enforcement officer, I've worked these type of cases. It's heartbreaking. And the fact that she will use something so traumatic to advance her radical position on this issue is appalling.”
“The fact is that my opponent [Spanberger] is so radical, so extreme that she believes in abortion on demand subsidized by the taxpayers, for whatever reason, at any point up and until the moment of birth,” Vega added. “That is not who we are as Americans, that is not who we are here in the Seventh District. And that's what I have to say about that issue.”
“When you hear these Abigail Spanberger television advertisements saying Yesli Vega doubts that a woman can get pregnant [after] rape, “not true” is what you’re saying?” Minock asked Vega.
“Right,” Vega said. “And it's another sign of desperation. My opponent doesn't have a record that she can run on. She's voted with Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time. She's doing everything in her power to distract voters from her failed record. But voters in the Seventh District are smart, they're not buying her smears or her lies, and they're excited and in five days, we're going to win this race.”