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Board follows appropriate protocol

The Piedmont Regional Jail Authority Board is taking the right measures in asking Virginia State Police to conduct an investigation into areas that were identified in the management letter of the jail’s Fiscal Year 2017 audit. State Police will be checking the audit to see if any illegal activities were conducted. 

As The Herald has previously reported, Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates generated a memorandum that essentially summarized the audit of the authority, detailing a lack of official documentation for expenditures of public funds and seemingly hundreds and perhaps multiple thousands of dollars in excessive spending. According to Prince Edward County Administrator Wade Bartlett, identified areas of concern are related to credit card vouchers. According to the Code of Virginia, “If any officer, agent or employee of the Commonwealth or of any city, town, county, or any other political subdivision, or the deputy of any such officer having custody of public funds, or other funds coming into his custody under his official capacity, knowingly misuse or misappropriate the same or knowingly dispose thereof otherwise than in accordance with law, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony; and any default of such officer, agent, employee or deputy in paying over any such funds to the proper authorities when required by law to do so shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his guilt.”

The hope is that, for those involved, State Police won’t find jail employees guilty of embezzlement. However, if they are, then justice should be sought to the highest degree for taxpayers in the areas from which the jail receives public funds. According to the Code of Virginia, a Class 4 felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than 10 and a fine of not more than $100,000.