A Shenandoah County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Strasburg Mayor Richard Orndorff Jr.
The indictments include two counts for unauthorized use of an unspecified combination of food stamps, electronic benefit transfer cards or similar "devices" on or about Sept. 18, 2018, and both involved less than $500. Another indictment for obtaining money by false pretenses alleges that between Sept. 19 and Sept. 20, 2018, Orndorff “did unlawfully obtain by false pretenses, with the intent to defraud, money belonging to the town of Strasburg, having a value of less than $500.”
A third count for unauthorized use of an unspecified combination of food stamps, electronic benefit transfer cards or similar "devices" is alleged to have involved an incident that took place on or about July 25, 2017, and involved less than $200.
A fourth count on the same charge alleges an incident occurred on or about July 13, 2017, and involved a value of less than $200.
A second count of obtaining money by false pretenses alleges that between July 31 and Aug. 3, 2017, Orndorff “did unlawfully obtain by false pretenses, with the intent to defraud, money belonging to the Town of Strasburg, having a value of less than $200.”
Details on the events involved in the indictments are slim.
The investigation was handled by the Virginia State Police.
State police spokesman Sgt. Brent Coffey, when contacted on Wednesday, said the agency would be sending out a news release, which was not available by press time.
Orndorff could not be reached for comment. The phone number for Orndorff listed on the town’s website was not in service. The mayor also did not respond to an email to his town email account.
In a separate case, Orndorff faces criminal charges for driving while intoxicated, a second offense, and for driving an all-terrain vehicle on the highway. He is scheduled to appear in Shenandoah County General District Court on Nov. 19 for a review of the earlier case.
He is also fighting a petition to remove him from office. Shenandoah County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Black this week filed a motion to recuse himself from hearing the petition. That would result in 26th Judicial District Chief Judge Bruce Albertson appointing another judge to the case.
Orndorff is represented in those cases by Phillip Griffin II.
Griffin said Wednesday he was not aware of the indictments and had not talked to Orndorff.
Strasburg Town Manager Wyatt Pearson said he was aware of the indictments but had no comment and declined to answer questions.
Some council members had been notified of the indictments but were not aware of details.
Councilwoman Kim Bishop said Pearson notified her of the indictments but did not have details.
"Surprise," Bishop said when asked what her reaction was to the news."I had no idea these things were happening."
Councilman Ken Cherrix said the indictments had also been brought to his attention.
"I am going to hold my reaction until I get details," Cherrix said.
Councilman John Massoud said he had also been told about the indictments from Pearson.
Massoud also said he did not know details and had not seen the indictments.
"I am extremely disappointed and hurt," Massoud said.