Glenmore embezzlement: Once-missing Comer will plead guilty
The former Glenmore Country Club president and homeowner's association treasurer who disappeared July 1 moments before an audit was in Albemarle Circuit Court Monday to set a date to enter a guilty plea on five counts of embezzlement.
Michael D. Comer, 45, appeared dressed in a blue blazer and considerably more clean shaven than when he emerged from hiding July 27. Accused of pilfering $666,000 from the gated community's coffers over the years he served as treasurer, he has been out on $50,000 bond and ordered to stay away from Glenmore.
"We can put this down for a plea," said his Warrenton attorney, Blair Howard, cautioning that he and prosecutor Elliott Casey are waiting to hear from two attorneys–- presumably representing the Glenmore Community Association.
Comer is married to former club golf pro Kandi Kessler and was employed by Glenmore Associates, the company founded by his late father-in-law, Frank Kessler–- who developed the swanky, 700-home, east-of-Charlottesville subdivision.
Mother-in-law Peggy Kessler and brother-in-law, Jeff Gaffney, chairman and CEO of Real Estate III, have have put $300K toward the debt and pledged to repay the rest of the missing funds by August. Neither was spotted in court today.
In the wake of the scandal, Peggy Kessler put her historic 10-acre Glenmore manse on the market for $2.75 million in January. Meanwhile, Mike and Kandi Comer's house at 2930 Milton Village Lane, originally listed for $1.348 million and now reduced to $998K, is under contract, according to their realtor's website.
The Comers' Wintergreen condo, from which Mike reportedly disappeared, 54 Firtree Drive, is for sale for $299,000. However, a Comer-owned investment property at 3803 Richmond Road, last listed for $325,000 (down from $425,000), is no longer showing up on the Multiple Listing Service.
Comer is scheduled to be back in court April 13 to formally enter his plea.
Also in court February 1 was another accused homeowners association embezzler. Kevin Thomas O'Connor, longtime Mill Creek Homeowners Association treasurer, was arrested November 9 and accused of taking $10,000, a number now believed to be significantly higher.
"He has publicly acknowledged his misconduct and continues to make efforts to compensate the homeowners association and cooperate with this investigation," says his attorney, Rhonda Quagliana.
O'Connor will be back in court May 5 and is expected to enter a guilty plea.