Police return majority of town’s financial records
by Tom Chillemi
Most of the Town of Urbanna’s financial records that were seized by Virginia State Police in June were returned last week, said town attorney Andy Bury.
However, Virginia State Police Special Agent Accountant Jennifer S. Brown kept a portion of those records, said Bury.
Two bags of town records were retained by Agent Brown, said Bury. He added that Brown’s investigation continues and the town is cooperating, but he is not at liberty to discuss details. Bury said he will meet with Agent Brown to go over her findings.
Bury picked up the records at Virginia State Police headquarters in Chesapeake on December 1. The records that were returned “were in impeccable order,” he noted. “They were the same as when they left and we appreciate the care she (Brown) took with those documents.”
A search warrant for the town administrative office in June, 2011 sought 11.5 years of financial records from January 2000 through June 9, 2011.
On June 10, state police seized 12 “large banker boxes” and “three paper bags containing accounting records, bank records, account receivable/account payable records and personnel records,” according to a search warrant filed in Middlesex Circuit Court. No criminal charges have been brought against anyone in connection to the seized town records.
Brown’s separate investigation into finances of the Central Middlesex Volunteer Rescue Squad (CMVRS) of Urbanna resulted in former Urbanna town administrator G. Lewis Filling Jr. being found guilty on November 16 to five counts of embezzlement in connection with his role as treasurer of the rescue squad. He embezzled a total of $50,371 between 2005-10, according to Middlesex Circuit Court documents. Filling remains in jail awaiting a sentencing hearing on February 15, 2012.
Filling also was the town administrator and town treasurer while he was the CMVRS treasurer.
Brown’s investigation of Middlesex Sheriff Office finances resulted in a special grand jury returning felony indictments in August against Sheriff Guy Abbott. That case has not gone to trial and the court file has been sealed by a judge.
Abbott is charged with a total of 25 felonies, including bribery, embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, as the result of a state police investigation authorized by the Virginia Attorney General.