John W. McCarthy III of Warrenton faces three misdemeanor charges of embezzlement for purchasing books for personal use in 2014 and 2015. He is accused of allegedly spending $202.90,using his Rappahannock County government credit card while he was county administrator.
McCarthy retired in 2016 after a nearly 30-year career in county government. He is now senior advisor and director of strategic partnerships for the Piedmont Environmental Council and serves on the board of the PATH Foundation.
McCarthy said in an email that he had no comment about the charges. His Warrenton attorney, Robin Gulick, likewise said he had no comment. A PEC spokesman said the organization doesn’t comment on pending legal matters.
McCarthy is scheduled to be arraigned on the three charges at 9 a.m. Jan. 21 in Rappahannock General District Court in Washington, Virginia, according to court records. He was released on his own recognizance after being arrested Jan. 2. A conviction could carry a sentence of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of $2,500 for each offense, according to the penalty for the applicable code section listed in the court record, 18.2-111.
The charges stem from an investigation by Paul Walther, the Culpeper County commonwealth’s attorney named as special prosecutor in the case. A call to Walther’s office for comment wasn’t returned by press time on Tuesday.
According to the Rappahannock News, Walther told the newspaper that “[In this case] there’s no indication that the defendant did this to make money. It’s more than an oversight, more than just a mistake, but normally in embezzlement you see a pattern of practice – that ‘I am doing this to support a drug habit, to pay off bills,’ and that was not the case here.”
According to the Rappahannock News and Blue Ridge Independent, the purchases by McCarthy were $61.37 on Dec. 24, 2014, $68.66 on Jan. 25, 2015, and $72.87 on March 17, 2015.
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