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Jennings guilty of reduced charge

South Boston News
Jennings
SoVaNow.com / July 24, 2013
Mecklenburg County Supervisor Jim Jennings of Chase City pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced misdemeanor charge to bring a criminal investigation stemming from his 2011 re-election bid to a close.

Jennings accepted the misdemeanor charge — neglect of duty by an election officer — after originally being indicted on a felony count of willfully making a false material statement on a form required to be filed under Virginia’s elections laws, a Class 5 felony that is punishable by a fine up to $2,500 and ten years in prison.

As part of the plea agreement, Jennings was given a six month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $250 in court costs. He was also required to perform community service, the exact nature of which has not been determined.

The charge stemmed from Jennings’ 2011 re-election campaign for the ED-7 seat he holds on the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors. It was alleged that Jennings failed to personally witness signatures on one of 15 petitions he filed with the General Registrar, as required by law.

Jennings signed each of the petitions as the circulator, swearing that he “witnessed the signature of each person who signed” the document.

According to the investigation conducted by Special Agent B. D. Tuggle of the Virginia State Police, the petition in question contained five signatures: by C.L. Garner, Jr., C. Lee Bailey, Jr., Patrese Smith, Glenn R. Wood and Irene Card.

He was indicted in February after at least one of those five individuals admitted signing the petition without Jennings being present, records indicate.

The case against Jennings was handled by Barbara Cook, an assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Chesterfield County, who took over the case after officials in Mecklenburg County recused themselves.

A call to Jennings seeking comment was not returned.

Jennings, in addition to his duties on the Board of Supervisors, is President of the Mecklenburg County Farm Bureau, District 11 Representative to the Virginia Farm Bureau, and President of JF Leaf, Ltd., a local tobacco-processing firm.

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What a waste of tax payer money

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Of all the lies we hear daily from politicians, why focus on this minor infraction?


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