Former Charlottesville Council Candidate Investigated for Fraud

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Former Democratic Charlottesville City Council candidate James Halfaday is now under investigation by the commonwealth's attorney.  He was running for council before the primaries.  The city is now looking into whether or not Halfaday lied on financial records.

Halfaday's claims of being involved with a fitness business in Albemarle County are what has him in hot water Wednesday night.  The commonwealth's attorney is charged with checking the facts.

As a city council candidate, Halfaday indicated on a form that he or a close family member is a co-owner of Snap Fitness off Route 29.  The Charlottesville Electoral Board decided Wednesday that record and two other campaign finance logs had to be investigated by the city's commonwealth attorney.

"They have received some credible information that said there may possibly be some information on the statement of economic interest that was false and incorrect, and under election law, that carries possible penalties with it," said Charlottesville Voter Registrar Sheri Iachetta.

Iachetta says this is the first time in her 12 years on the job that an investigation like this is happening.

During his campaign, Halfaday called himself a "small business owner" and online, you can find a number of photos of him at Snap Fitness.

NBC29 tried to get in touch with Halfaday by message, e-mail, phone, and even at home, but there has been no answer.

The attorney representing the couple who says their company owns the gym told the Daily Progress that Halfaday does not and never has owned any part of Snap Fitness.     

As for the campaign finance documents, one of the two called into question has 21 donations listed for $499 each - totaling more that $10,000.  The other report is due by Friday and is not yet filed.

Charlottesville Electoral Board
Resolution from Closed Session
September 14, 2011

The Charlottesville Electoral Board directs the General Registrar to turn over to the Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney immediately the Statement of Economic Interest of candidate James Halfaday, and to turn over to the Commonwealth's Attorney the candidate's Campaign Finance report for the period ending August 10, on Friday September 16, 2011 if the report has not been amended by then pursuant to Code of Virginia §242.2-1016.

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