NORFOLK, Va. - Wednesday afternoon Judge Everett A. Martin heard arguments regarding whether to suspend City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot in the wake of a jury finding him guilty for public corruption and perjury.
After a two hour hearing Judge Martin told attorneys for both sides that he'll try to have a decision in "a couple of days."
Attorney Ron Batliner, who is running for commonwealth’s attorney, filed a petition in Norfolk Circuit Court asking a judge to remove Burfoot from his job as the city’s treasurer.
Virginia law allows a judge to suspend an official convicted of a crime while appeals and a formal removal trial are pending.
But Burfoot’s attorney Andrew Sacks said Burfoot has not been convicted of but rather a jury found him guilty of perjury and bribery charges. Sacks said the jury verdict is only a component on the way to conviction.
“They didn't say any officer that is found guilty. They say any officer convicted of a felony and under the definition that has not happened yet. It just hasn't occurred it's just too premature,” said Sacks.
Batliner said the judge has the authority to suspend Burfoot based on the jury’s verdict. He said Burfoot has been disgraced and the citizens can’t feel safe with him handling their money.
“In this situation I think this statute is perfectly situated to deal with this or become just like I said in court which is suspend him and he's protected. And the citizens are protected that's the bigger deal that I want to protect the citizens,” said Batliner.
Burfoot is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on April 17, 2017 for his public corruption and perjury charges.
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