FRONT ROYAL - The county's coffers will fund four supervisors' and two appointed officials' legal fees totaling $49,922.
The fees stem from dismissed misdemeanor charges of misfeasance and nonfeasance that were levied against 14 current and former county officials in September.
Those charged included supervisors Dan Murray, Tony Carter, Linda Glavis, Tom Sayre and Archie Fox, County Administrator Doug Stanley, and former County and EDA Attorney Dan Whitten.
The charges were based on the officials' alleged lacking oversight of former Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Jennifer McDonald, who the EDA has accused of a variety of embezzlement schemes in a $21.3 million civil lawsuit.
In October, Judge Bruce D. Albertson dismissed the charges, saying nonfeasance and misfeasance are not crimes in Virginia.
At the supervisor’s Tuesday meeting, the board approved using county money to fund the legal expenses of Carter, Fox, Murray, Glavis, Stanley and Whitten. Sayre opted to pay his legal fees and he was the lone dissenting vote against the county funding the legal expenses.
Legal fees for each individual were $15,166 for Stanley, $14,636 for Glavis, $8,250 for Murray, $5,000 for Carter, $3,990 for Whitten and $2,880 for Fox.
Regarding the varying amounts, Carter said: “Some of the attorneys were engaged earlier, they did a lot of the research. Some of the attorneys came on at a later date and most of the research had been done.”
Carter claimed that the supervisors’ decision has state- and nationwide implications.
“When it comes down to it, if you expect elected officials or the appointed officials to have to pay out of their pocket for charges that wind up being dismissed, I think you’re going to preclude a lot of people from stepping forward and serving their communities,” he said.
Carted added that if anyone was found guilty, “that would be another matter and they should be responsible for their expenses.”
In a separate legal matter, the supervisors are due in court 8:45 a.m. Friday for a hearing regarding a petition for their removal from office.