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Middlesex County Sheriff charged with 25 felonies

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Guy L. Abbott

On Thursday, August 25, Middlesex County Sheriff Guy L. Abbott was arrested on 25 felony indictments handed down from a Middlesex County special grand jury, reported Brian J. Gottstein, director of communications for the office of the Attorney General of Virginia, in an August 26 email to the Southside Sentinel. 

The charges allege 18 counts of misuse/misappropriation of public assets, four counts of embezzlement, and three counts of bribery, said Gottstein. 

Abbott was processed at the Peninsula Regional Jail in James City County.  He was released on a personal recognizance bond and his initial court appearance will be in Middlesex County Circuit Court on Wednesday, September 7, at 9:30 a.m., said Gottstein.

The case is being investigated by the Virginia Department of State Police, said Gottstein.

The Office of the Attorney General was appointed to handle the prosecution after Middlesex County Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael T. Hurd recused himself and asked the circuit court for a special prosecutor, said Gottstein.

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty, said Gottstein.

Abbott was first elected sheriff of Middlesex County in 1999 and was re-elected in 2003 and 2007. He is seeking re-election to a fourth term in the November 8, 2011 election.

The Charges
The 25 indictments issued as “true bills” by a special grand jury are as follows:

  • On or about March 31, 2006 in the County of Middlesex, Abbott did “unlawfully and feloniously solicit from another pecuniary (financial) benefit as consideration for or in exchange for his decision, opinion, recommendation, or other exercise of discretion as a public servant for the County of Middlesex: to wit $800.” The indictment also stated a witness was sworn in open court and was sent to the special grand jury to give evidence.

  • On or about May 17, 2006, Abbott is accused of a similar activity involving $300.

  • On or about March 21, 2004 through September 20, 2004, Abbott is accused of similar activities involving $120.

  • On or about January 31, 2007 through May 15, 2007, Abbott “did feloniously and knowingly misuse or misappropriate” public funds, or other funds coming into his custody under his official capacity.

  • On or about April 2, 2008, Abbott “did feloniously and knowingly misuse and misappropriate” public funds.

  • On or about May 20, 2003, Abbott is accused of “unlawfully and feloniously, and with the intent to defraud, dispose of, and conceal or embezzle personal property valued at more than $200 belonging to the County of Middlesex, which he received by virtue of his office, a 1993 Nova Marine inflatable boat.”

  • On or about December 31, 2003, Abbott is accused of similar charges concerning a 1985 Volvo.

  • On or about May 21, 2005, Abbott is accused of similar charges concerning a 1982 Privateer Boat.

  • On or about May 16, 2008, Abbott is accused of similar charges concerning a Boston Whaler boat.

  • On or about January 1, 2000 through June 30, 2000, Abbott did “feloniously and knowingly misuse or misappropriate . . . Middlesex County Asset forfeiture funds and Middlesex County Mastercard.”

  • On or about July 1, 2000 through December 31, 2000, Abbott is accused of misusing forfeiture funds and the county’s Mastercard.

  • On or about January 1, 2001 through June 30, 2001, Abbott is accused of misusing forfeiture funds and the county’s Mastercard.

  • On or about July 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001, Abbott is accused of misusing forfeiture funds and the county’s Mastercard.

  • On or about July 1, 2002 through December 31, 2002, Abbott is accused of misuse of forfeiture funds, Middlesex County assets, Middlesex County Mastercard, and a county Visa card.

  • On or about January 1, 2003 through June 30, 2003, Abbott is accused of misusing the county’s Visa card.

  • On or about July 1, 2003 through December 31, 2003, Abbott is accused of misusing forfeiture funds and county Visacard.

  • On or about January 1, 2004 through June 30, 2004, Abbott is accused of a similar charge.

  • On or about July 1, 2004 through December 31, 2004, Abbott is accused of misuse of a county Visacard.

  • On or about January 1, 2006 through June 30, 2006, he is accused of misuse of forfeiture funds.

  • On or about January 1, 2007 through June 30, 2007, Abbott is accused of misuse of forfeiture funds.

  • On or about July 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007, Abbott is accused of misuse of forfeiture funds.

  • On or about January 1, 2008 through June 30, 2008, Abbott is accused of misuse of forfeiture funds.

  • On or about July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008, Abbott is accused of misuse of forfeiture funds.

Forfeiture funds are monies confiscated during a crime. A portion of these funds go back to the county sheriff’s office to be used for specific purposes.

posted 08.26.2011

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