August 25, 2014
There are more questions than answers on the use of money within the Charlottesville registrar’s office where they were allegedly footing the bill for a cell phone that was being used by former electoral board member Stephanie Commander.
She has been off the board for the past three years and allegedly racked up a $2,500 phone bill in that time.
Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones explained the situation in a statement saying quote:
“Two weeks ago was the first time I learned the extent of the issues with Ms. Commander's cell phone usage. Previously I was unaware of how long it had been used. I was under the impression that it had been a few months. In hindsight, I probably should have delved a little deeper into the phone records at that point. It was always my intention to follow-up.”
City Councilor Bob Fenwick says he knows everyone makes mistakes, but it's important to own up to them.
“This is a management problem in some respects and I hope they can make their way through it, but the most important thing is that we have all the facts and I think that's where we are headed right now,” says Fenwick.
He says the investigation could shine a light on other issues within the office, but he hopes that people don't lose trust in the registrar’s office.
“As we go through I hope we don't find out more, but that’s one of those things where we need the investigation to go through,” says Fenwick. “We want to make sure the citizens have confidence in the registrar’s office and that they know that they can work through this and I will be watching this very closely.”
Once the city manager became aware of the length of time that the cell phone was being used he says he contacted the Charlottesville police to launch a criminal investigation.
It will soon be up to the Commonwealth's Attorney's office to determine if any laws were broken.
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