Former Augusta County supervisor Terry Kelley Jr. pleaded guilty to five counts of credit card theft, fraud and forgery on Thursday.
He will serve a total of three months and it could be served as house arrest.
Kelley, 55, faced 22 counts related to credit card theft, fraud and forgery following an Augusta County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the misuse of a county fire department fleet fuel credit card.
On Thursday, he avoided trial by pleading guilty to five felony charges: one charge of credit card theft, one charge of credit card fraud and three charges of credit card forgery. The other 17 credit card forgery charges were dropped.
He was sentenced to five years on each charge, concurrently. In total, he had five years in prison with four years and nine months suspended and three to serve. The sentence starts on Sept. 20, and Kelley, who now lives in Lynchburg, would be able to do home arrest if he works out a home electronic incarceration system.
Kelley also must pay back the money within a year.
Jeff Gaines, Staunton Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, said the sentencing guidelines and recommendation for the case were the same if he pled guilty to all 22 charges or just the five.
“I’d much rather see Mr. Kelley pay back the tax payers of Augusta County than pay a lot of court costs they wouldn’t see as much of,” Gaines said.
On Oct. 31, the sheriff’s office was made aware of the misuse of the credit card assigned to Augusta County Fire Department Company 10 in Staunton for an antique 1941 Fire Engine. The vehicle was a display truck that had been out of service and in a repair shop since September 2017. The investigation was triggered after an Oct. 29 purchase in Florida was flagged.
Kelley was a volunteer at the fire station. He resigned from the Augusta County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 26 after Staunton Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Gaines was appointed as a special prosecutor to look into the allegations.
During a December press conference, Smith said that the gas card was being used without permission at local gas stations regularly since fall 2017. The sheriff said Kelley was using the Company 10 card for fuel purchases for his own vehicles.
After an investigation, police said about $4,000 was charged to the fleet fuel card between fall 2017 and October in 149 unauthorized transactions. Almost all the gas purchases were in Augusta County and Staunton, according to investigators.