WOODSTOCK – Strasburg Mayor Richard Orndorff Jr. appeared in Shenandoah County Circuit Court for his fraud charges on Wednesday with his newly appointed attorney, Ryan Nuzzo.
Wednesday was Orndorff’s first appearance with Nuzzo after the court rejected his request to appoint his personal attorney, Phillip S. Griffin II, to this case. Griffin was representing Orndorff in two other cases, and Orndorff requested the court appoint him to a third.
Judge Kevin C. Black rejected the request. Instead, he chose Nuzzo as Orndorff’s court-appointed attorney, and they both appeared before the judge Wednesday.
The court also appointed Nuzzo to represent Orndorff in a DUI case stemming from an incident in in May in Strasburg. The DUI case was one among 60 indictments that a grand jury handed up Wednesday.
Griffin was representing Orndorff on his DUI charge and a civil case involving a petition submitted by Strasburg residents to remove him from office before his term expires in May 2020. The petition for removal case is not moving forward and the court is awaiting objections from the commonwealth’s attorney to Griffin’s motion that taxpayers pay for Orndorff’s legal fees.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Strecky told the court in November that the commonwealth was seeking a direct indictment on the DUI charges so it could proceed with Orndorff’s cases in a single court.
Orndorff’s DUI case, if it results in a conviction, would be his second in less than five years.
The fraud charges relate to his alleged unauthorized use of town funds on several occasions between July 2017 and September 2018.
Black granted Orndorff a $1,000 unsecured bond for his DUI charge. Orndorff will not be arrested or have to report to the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail because he is already out on another $1,000 unsecured bond on the fraud charges.
Nuzzo on Wednesday requested discovery from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in both matters. The commonwealth’s attorney has until Dec. 27 to provide any discovery.
Orndorff’s next appearance in Shenandoah County Circuit Court is 9 a.m. Feb. 26.