October 19, 2011
Former Charlottesville City Council candidate James Robert Halfaday was arrested Wednesday and charged with election fraud.
The charges against the Democrat, four in total, allege he used a false address when submitting official election documents to the registrar. Neighbors told CBS19 last month that Halfaday does not live in the multi-unit apartment building on Sunset Road that he listed in the official documents.
Halfaday released the following statement in response to the charges:
"I am not guilty of these charges. I ask that no one judge me before I have had my day in court. Until the cases are completed, I will have no further comments."
Thursday, he made an initial appearance in court and told the judge he plans to hire his own attorney. Halfaday will be back in court on Dec. 15 for a preliminary hearing.
According to police, while the investigation has revealed Halfaday is not now nor was he ever a co-owner of Snap Fitness in the Seminole Square Shopping Center, he has not been charged related to the false statement at this time.
Furthermore, authorities say the elections forms did not require specific information, election fraud charges concerning Halfaday's statement of employment and economic interest are not likely.
Election fraud is a felony offense that carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Halfaday finished last in the primary field of seven Democratic candidates vying for three nominations to be on the November ballot.