75. A Bill to Punish Bribery and Extortion
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no Treasurer, keeper of any public seal, Councillor of State, counsel for the commonwealth, Judge,1 clerk of the peace, sheriff, coroner, escheator, nor any other officer of the commonwealth, shall in time to come take, in any form, any manner of gift, brocage, or reward for doing his office, other than is or shall be allowed by some act of General Assembly passed after the institution of the commonwealth, that is to say, after the fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord 1776. And he that doth shall pay unto the party grieved the treble value of that he hath received, shall be amerced and imprisoned at the discretion of a jury, and shall be discharged from his office forever; and he who will sue in the said matter shall have suit as well for the commonwealth as for himself, and the third part of the amercement.
Report description begins Report of the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia in MDCCLXXVI, Richmond, 1784 description ends , p. 51–2. Text of Act as adopted is in Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xii, 335–6.
Bill was presented by Madison 31 Oct. 1785 and on 14 Dec. was postponed to the next session (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1785, 1828 edn., p. 12–15, 92). It was brought up at the Oct. 1786 session, was passed by the House on 18 Nov., apparently after being amended (see below). The Senate passed the Bill with amendments on 2 Dec. The House disagreed to these amendments, the Senate insisted upon them, the House stood firm, and on 8 Dec. the Senate receded from its position (same, Oct. 1786, p. 16–17, 44, 46, 48, 82, 85, 88, 93, 95, 127). Except as indicated below, text of Act as adopted agrees with Bill as proposed; Act was suspended until 1 July 1787 (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xii, 410–11).
1. The Act adds at this point: “or attornies at law, practising either in the general court, high court of chancery, court of appeals, court of admiralty, or inferior courts.”