Halfaday arrested: Ex-candidate charged with falsifying address
Former Democratic City Council candidate James Halfaday was charged October 19 with four felony counts of election fraud for allegedly using a false address to certify his candidacy with the registrar.
"I am not guilty of these charges," says Halfaday in a written statement. "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." Halfaday did not respond to a phone call from the Hook.
A Hook investigation in September discovered that Halfaday did not reside at 2423 Sunset Road, the Charlottesville address he used when filing for Council, according to the occupants currently living there. Another more recent address associated with Halfaday, 1248 Richmond Road, is in Albemarle County.
The Hook also discovered that a number of contributors Halfaday listed as having donated $499 to his campaign said they had never given him money.
"I can't say whether additional charges will be filed," says Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Claude Worrell. "The investigation is still under way."
In an increasingly bizarre series of events after Halfaday placed last in the August 20 Democratic primary, he accused a campaign worker for another candidate of violating an emergency protective order he'd filed against her.
He also claimed to have been injured in the recent 5.8 earthquake centered in Louisa, and posted a photo of himself on Facebook wearing a neck collar. If true, that would have made him the only person to report being injured in Charlottesville by the August 23 event.
The injury claim nearly coincided with the announcement by a lawyer hired by the true owners of Snap Fitness gym that Halfaday was not an owner of the facility, as he'd claimed throughout his campaign. No charges will be filed for the allegedly bogus business ownership claim, according to Worrell.
Each of the counts carries up a maximum $2,500 fine and/or up to 10 years in prison. Halfaday was released on a personal recognizance bond, says Worrell, and is scheduled to appear in court October 20.
Update October 20: Halfaday goes to trial December 15.Read more on: james halfaday