On Wednesday Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms was charged with 5 counts of violating Virginia’s Conflict of Interest Act. The charges stem from votes he cast which benefited TowneBank when he was President of the bank.
Michael Doucette, Lynchburg’s Commonwealth Attorney, acted as the special prosecutor to examine whether votes taken by the mayor on developments involving TowneBank clients violated state and local conflict of interest laws. He was appointed on Nov. 19 to the position after Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle recused himself.
According to Doucette’s email, the transactions involved “votes Sessoms cast as a member of the Virginia Beach City Council on projects associated with 1) the Emmanuel Episcopal Church on June 2012, April 2014, and October 2014; 2) the 25th Street Project on March 2014; and 3) Madison Landing LLC on April 2011. Each of these entities was a customer of TowneBank while Mayor Sessoms was also president of that bank. The allegations are that Mayor Sessoms violated the Virginia COIA by failing to make necessary public disclosures before voting on these projects.”
“Republican” Mayor Sessoms has denied all charges: