Roanoke City Councilman Robert Jeffrey Jr. was found guilty today of taking $15,000 in pandemic relief funds by inflating the number of full-time employees and submitting false applications submitted to grant-making authorities. The Roanoke Times reports that a 12-person jury took about 30 minutes to reach a verdict. Jeffrey was taken into custody and will be sentenced at a later date.
His lawyer raised the possibility that someone other than Jeffrey, such as one of his employees who has a criminal record, had submitted the forms in question. Jeffrey did not testify in his own defense. A second Jeffrey trial on other charges is scheduled to begin soon; four trials in all are scheduled this week. The felony charges could force Jeffrey from his City Council seat if any appeals he files are turned down.