LYNCHBURG — A Nelson County sheriff’s investigator who ran an unsuccessful campaign for sheriff this year was arrested Tuesday after he was indicted on election fraud charges, according to a news release from the Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
William “Billy” Everett Mays Jr. was indicted by a Nelson County Circuit Court grand jury on one count each of election fraud, a Class 5 felony, and willful neglect of election law duties, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The release said the charges stem from a private citizen’s complaint made in late September questioning whether Mays, who lost the November election to David Hill, falsely stated he lived in Nelson County. The citizen’s complaint also alleged issues with Hill’s Nelson County residency.
Virginia State Police investigated the allegations after being notified by Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin. The case was handed over to Dave Chapman, Charlottesville’s prosecutor, on Oct. 5, and findings from the investigation were presented to Chapman’s office Nov. 5.
The release said investigators determined Hill lived in Nelson County after reviewing rent checks, bills and photos of his vehicle and his dogs at the home.
“The investigation has conclusively established that David Hill engaged in no criminal conduct and therefore no criminal charges related to any form of election fraud are appropriate,” the release said.
It did not give details surrounding Mays’ charges, citing the ongoing court proceedings. He was placed on paid administrative leave Tuesday, according to Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks.
Online circuit court records said Tuesday evening Mays was in police custody. He is set for a court appearance at 9 a.m. Jan. 21 in Nelson County Circuit Court.
State law requires election candidates be registered to vote in the district where they seek office, according to Rose Mansfield, spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Elections.
Documents obtained by The News & Advance show Mays registered to vote in Nelson County for the first time Jan. 23. He listed his residence as 115 Shiloh Loop in Faber on his voter registration application and again Feb. 5 on a Certificate of Candidate Qualification form.