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State Police return county, town records

Middlesex County Sheriff David P. Bushey said this week that financial records belonging to Middlesex County and the Town of Urbanna, which had been seized by State Police over two years ago, have been returned by the State Police.

Middlesex documents were seized in March 2010, and Urbanna records were seized in June 2011.

Bushey said he has notified Middlesex County Treasurer Betty Bray and Urbanna Town Attorney Andy Bury that the financial records are in his possession at his office in Saluda, and are available to be picked up. Bushey said between 12 and 15 large boxes of papers were returned to his office by the State Police.

Middlesex financial records were seized in connection to an attorney general’s investigation that led to 25 charges against Guy Abbott in August of 2011. Abbott was Middlesex County Sheriff at the time. The charges were related to financial expenditures, property disposal and alleged bribery while he was sheriff.

In a bench trial, the trial judge dismissed all but two bribery charges, and found Abbott guilty on August 9, 2012 of soliciting bribes from two employees. However, Abbott was cleared of all charges in the case when these two convictions were reversed by the same judge in October of 2012.

On June 10, 2011, State Police executed a search warrant and confiscated Urbanna’s bank statements, receipts, credit card statements, loan documents, bills, invoices, telephone records, payroll records, personnel records, financial statements, accounts receivable ledgers, accounts payable ledgers, expense reports, and contractor records for the period from January 1, 2000 through June 9, 2011.

According to court documents, the Urbanna search warrants were executed during an investigation by the State Police, which refused to give the reason for the seizure of town records. No town-related charges resulted.

The search warrants were issued after Lewis Filling, the former town treasurer and administrator, had been charged with embezzling $50,371 from the Central Middlesex Volunteer Rescue Squad of Urbanna.

In November 2011, Filling entered an Alford Plea and pled guilty to five embezzlement charges. Filling was sentenced to 25 years in prison but the judge suspended all but 3.5 years of the sentence. Filling paid back the money he embezzled from the rescue squad. He is currently in jail.

posted 07.31.2013

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