A capias was issued Wednesday for Joe Gasperini of South Boston regarding his felony charge of providing a false statement on a required form.
Appomattox County Commonwealth’s Attorney Leslie Fleet, who has been appointed to the case, said the charge stems from a petition affidavit.
He said in an email to The Gazette on Monday that “the alleged fraudulent act was him signing the attestation at the end of the petition where he swears he witnessed and verified each signature on the petition.”
He continued saying, “The Commonwealth is alleging in the indictment that the signatures on one of the petitions he submitted were not witnessed by him, and he should not have signed that attestation clause on that one, the person who collected those signatures should have.”
He also said because the case is a pending criminal matter, no other information will be made available at this time.
The offense date dates back to June 2019 when he was chairman on Halifax County School Board.
His term was expiring at the end of the year, and he was in the process at getting certified to be on the ballot to run for re-election, as confirmed by voter registrar Heather Harding.
That was until he resigned from the school board in August 2019 saying, “I had higher hopes for the county than it had for itself. The dream of a new high school could have changed the direction of this county. Instead, we have a group of individuals who want to make a vague proclamation as to what the county needs when it has been obvious all along. I wish only the best for the students and staff of the Halifax County School System.”
When Gasperini was seeking re-election, Harding said her office had received an anonymous complaint regarding Gasperini’s petition of signatures and all of his paperwork regarding his re-election was turned over to Virginia State Police.
The voter registrar explained that each individual running has to get 125 signatures, and while others may circulate a candidate’s petition, whoever circulates the petition has to sign the circulator affidavit in front of a notary.
She said he or she basically signs off saying he or she was the witness to those signatures.
A Halifax County Circuit Court grand jury issued a true bill indictment for Gasperini on Jan. 7 on a felony charge of providing a false statement on a required form upon evidence from Virginia State Special Agent Robert Brooke.
When contacting state police for details on the matter, Corinne Geller, media relations coordinator for state police said, “Because the case involves an elected official, state police is not in a position to comment on the investigation itself.”
When contacted in January, Gasperini said he was unaware of the accusations and did not have a comment at that time.
Subsequent attempts to reach him have been unsuccessful.
The arresting officer for Gasperini was Virginia State Trooper J. A. Williamson, and he was released on a $2,500 bond.
Court documents show his first court date is currently set for March 4.