Trey Adkins, a Democrat on the Southern Virginian Buchanan County Board of Supervisors, has been charged with election fraud and embezzlement after a special grand jury on Monday.
The Russell County commonwealth’s attorney Zach Stoots, who was brought in as special prosecutor in the case, has indicted Adkins on 34 counts of false statement – election fraud, 11 counts of absentee voting procedure violation, 8 counts of public embezzlement, 11 counts of forgery of public record, 15 counts of uttering public record, and 3 counts of conspiracy to make false statement – election fraud. Additionally, Sherry Lynn Bailey, who Adkins identified as his aunt and is alleged to have assisted him, was indicted on 12 felony counts: 4 counts of false statement – election fraud, 4 counts of conspiracy to make a false statement, and 4 counts of forgery of public record.
According to a press release from Stoots, the investigation has been ongoing for two years, but that his office would not be releasing any further information on the case.
“The Rules of Professional Conduct prevents any lawyer participating in the prosecution of a criminal matter that may be tried to a jury from making an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or should know will have a likelihood of interfering with the fairness of a trial by jury.” Stoots said, “Based on the Rules of Professional Conduct, my office will not be making any further statements on the pending matters.”
Adkins has responded to the charges in a lengthy Facebook video, where he calls the indictments “a show” and said it was a relief to have the matter out in the open after an investigation that had gone on for more than two years. He also told News 5 that he believes the charges listed the indictment are part of a “corrupt investigation” on behalf of investigators and prosecutors involved in this case.
According to Cardinal News, Adkins won a two-way election with almost 58% of the 1,400 votes cast in 2019. In 2015, he pulled 70% of the vote – again, against one opponent – and in 2011, he received 48% of the vote in a three-way race, according to state election records.
No timeline has been given on when the trial is set to take place.