Trey Adkins. Photo by Lakin Keene.

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Updated 9:20 a.m. May 5: This story has been updated with comments from a video Trey Adkins posted to Facebook Tuesday night.

A member of the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors is charged with election fraud and embezzlement after a special grand jury on Monday handed down 82 felony indictments against him.

Trey Adkins, a Democrat who first was elected to the board in 2011, is charged with felonies including 34 counts of making a false statement, 11 counts of violating absentee voting procedures, 11 counts of forging public records and eight counts of embezzling public money, according to a news release from Zack Stoots, the Russell County commonwealth’s attorney, who was brought in as special prosecutor in the case.

A second person, Sherry Lynn Bailey, was indicted on a dozen counts, including making false statements and forging public records, the news release said. In a Facebook video posed Tuesday night, Adkins identified Bailey as his aunt.

Virginia State Police have been investigating the matter for more than two years, the release said.

The release does not provide any additional details about the charges, including any information about which election or elections were investigated or how much money Adkins is accused of taking, or from where. Stoots said his office will not be releasing any more information about the case.

Adkins did not respond to a message sent to him through Facebook on Tuesday afternoon. Several telephone numbers associated with his construction company, TayCo, were disconnected or were not accepting messages.

But in his 12-minute Facebook video, Adkins called the indictments “a show” and said it was a relief to have the matter out in the open after an investigation that had gone on for more than two years.

“We know what we’re facing,” he said. “We know what the accusations are, and we’re thankful for that. It’s going to bring an end to it.”

He said that the eight embezzlement charges accuse him of giving county gravel to residents of his district, and that the election fraud counts relate to “how the envelopes were witnessed.”

He said he will post another video with more details once his lawyer signs off on his statement. “We will clearly be pleading not guilty, the both of us,” he said.

He said it will be “a cold day in hell” before he steps down from the board of supervisors over the allegations.

No one answered the phone at the Buchanan County administrator’s office Tuesday afternoon, nor was the phone system accepting messages.

Adkins, a contractor, represents the Buchanan County district that includes Hurley, the community that was hit in August by a massive storm and flash flooding that killed one person and destroyed dozens of homes.

Adkins has posted frequent video updates about the recovery efforts on his Facebook page, and last fall he launched his own fundraising effort for Hurley residents, separate from the larger campaign managed by a public-private partnership called the Hurley Long-Term Recovery Group. He said in November that he had brought in more than $150,000. About $120,000 of that was paid out directly to residents, he said at the time, while the rest was used to rent equipment to help with the cleanup.

In 2019, Adkins won a two-way election with almost 58% of the 1,400 votes cast. In 2015, he pulled 70% of the vote – again, against one opponent – and in 2011, he received 48% of the vote in a three-way race, according to state election records.

Megan Schnabel

Megan Schnabel is a reporter for Cardinal News. Reach her at megan@cardinalnews.org.