Former Charlottesville City Council candidate James Halfaday has been charged with 4 felony counts of election fraud.
Halfaday was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon at Charlottesville police headquarters. He turned himself in shortly before 4:00 p.m., after the commonwealth's attorney's office contacted his lawyer about the pending charges.
The charges came down Wednesday from the city's commonwealth's attorney. Prosecutors say Halfaday used a false address when he certified his candidacy for city council with the voter registrar. We're also told that the investigation has revealed that Halfaday was never an owner of Snap Fitness as he claimed.
Last month, the city's electoral board decided that several of Halfaday's forms, including campaign finance logs, needed to be investigated.
Halfaday faces up to 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
He has been released from the Albemarle - Charlottesville Regional Jail on an unsecured bond. He will face a Charlottesville General District Court judge Thursday at 1 p.m.
Halfaday sent a statement on the charges via email Wednesday afternoon, saying: "I am not guilty of these charges. I ask that no one judge me before I have had my day in court. Until the cases are completed, I will have no further comments."
Commonwealth's Attorney Press Release:
Today a Charlottesville Police Department investigator served four election fraud warrants on James Robert Halfaday. Election fraud is a felony offense punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in the penitentiary.
The charges allege Mr. Halfaday used a false address when he certified his candidacy for City Council with the General Registrar for the City of Charlottesville.
While the investigation has revealed that Mr. Halfaday is not now nor was he ever an owner of Snap Fitness, Mr. Halfaday has not been charged with an offense related to this false statement at this time. The form filed by Mr. Halfaday did not contain certain language required by the Code of Virginia. As a result, election fraud charges concerning Mr. Halfaday's statement of economic interest are unlikely.
Claude V. Worrell, II Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney
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