An Appomattox County Board of Supervisors candidate and his wife were indicted Wednesday on fraud charges related to his campaign.
Court records show Alvin Russell “A.R.” Evans Jr. faces two counts of felony uttering on a petition of qualified voters in Appomattox County Circuit Court. His wife, Brandy Michelle Evans, has been indicted on 12 counts of perjury on a petition of qualified voters.
M. Andrew Nester, Henry County commonwealth’s attorney, has been appointed special prosecutor in the case after Appomattox County Commonwealth’s Attorney Les Fleet recused himself. Nester confirmed the indictments but said he couldn’t comment further on any of the evidence in the case.
Fleet said his office received several phone calls around July from Appomattox citizens saying their names appeared on Evans’ voter petition when they hadn’t been approached with the petition or signed it.
He contacted Virginia State Police to investigate the claims and requested the court appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the case. Nester recalled the Appomattox grand jury that convened earlier this month to hear the indictments Wednesday, and the grand jury found enough evidence to move the case forward in court.
Appomattox County Republican Committee Chairman Christian Raymond said in a Thursday news release the indictments are rooted in “baseless accusations.”
“This fraudulent indictment, and the months-long state police investigation leading up to it, is nothing short of a politically motivated witch-hunt orchestrated by individuals who want to tarnish the reputation of political opponents,” Raymond is quoted as saying in the release.
Evans is running against incumbent Samuel Carter for the Courthouse District seat on the county board, which Carter has held for the past 23 years.
Rick Boyer, the attorney representing Evans, said in a statement his client is “committed to following all applicable election laws.”
“I am confident he has done nothing wrong in this matter. I am confident he will be cleared of these charges once he has his day in court,” his statement reads. “He is running hard to represent the citizens of this district and looks forward to working for them after the election.
Raymond said Evans and his wife collected at least 180 signatures so he could run, well over the 125-signature requirement in state law. When asked about the fraud and orchestration mentioned in his statement, he referenced claims of intimidation and bullying of Appomattox citizens.
Evans still appears on a candidate list for the November election. He and his wife are scheduled for a hearing Oct. 7 in Appomattox Circuit Court.