A Spotsylvania County school board member faces charges of forgery that, if he’s convicted, could result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
A Spotsylvania grand jury indicted Karl E. Twigg, 65, on charges of forging a public record and tampering with a county record, a class 4 felony and a misdemeanor, respectively. The Livingston District representative turned himself in on Thursday and was subsequently released on a bond of personal recognizance, The Free Lance-Star reported.
Although public records do not list the particulars of Twigg’s alleged offenses, the report indicated that he became a subject of controversy following a June 21 school board meeting, during which he allegedly adjusted compensatory figures for interim Superintendent Kelly Guempel.
At a September 12 school board meeting, resident William Scheff noted that the broadcast of the June 21 gathering captured Twigg, then the school board chairman, asking Guempel to remain behind once the meeting adjourned.
After Guempel’s appointment was confirmed, Twigg “approached the acting superintendent with [a] copy of the contract,” Scheff claimed, according to The Free Lance-Star. “One of the items was a $4,500 monthly stipend, on top of his principal’s salary, for him to assume the role of interim.”
Upon Guempel’s request for a higher monthly stipend, Twigg allegedly changed the $4,500 figure to $8,500, nearly doubling the salary of the acting superintendent, Scheff said.
At the same September 12 meeting, board member Dawn Shelley said that Guempel even confirmed Scheff’s version of events.
“He’s not going to lie to me about that,” she said. “Mr. Twigg forged a contract, and if people up here are defending him, then they’re just as guilty as he is.”
Allegations eventually landed on the desk of Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, whose office told The Free Lance-Star that Twigg also faces allegations of illegally using public funds to pay for two board members to attend a conservative political conference in March.
Virginia State Police opened an investigation into Twigg’s actions in October, the report said.
The date of his trial has not yet been announced. The Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office will handle the prosecution.
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