Petersburg city council candidate charged with embezzlement

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Michael Edwards, who is running for Petersburg City Council, has been arrested for felony embezzlement in Prince George County.

“Am I guilty? No, I don’t think so,” Edwards told 8News Reporter Parker Slaybaugh.

Edwards is a candidate to represent Ward 4. It all stems from what he calls a misunderstanding relating to his former employment at a local limousine company.

ABE5FFEAD9BA47FDAA75AE9940F50941 (1)“The one issue that will eventually come out is the payment for the run was written directly to me instead of the company,” Edwards explained.

Edwards says that payment included the gratuity that was owed to him. He says he cashed the check, paid the company what was owed to them and kept his tip.

“Knowing now, I should have done things differently,” Edwards said.

“Am I guilty? No, I don’t think so.” — Michael Edwards

Edwards is known to speak at city council meetings calling for transparency. Now, many are wondering if he was transparent himself. To those, Edwards has a message:

6C0FD84842E94AA4A236B87C03B379E2“What I say to the citizens of Petersburg and the citizens of Ward 4, we are all innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.”

Edwards says he plans to meet with his campaign team to discuss this, but has no plans of dropping out.

“My statement to you is, I am still here, I am free, and I am still going to work for the city,” Edwards said.

8News reached out to both of the candidates running against Edwards.Pat Hines authorized the following statement:

“While the breaking news frenzy and reports surface against one of my city council opponents, I would like to employ the principle that folks are assumed innocent until proven guilty. I personally take no joy in his current struggles. Politics can be dirty and he may well be a victim. So I choose to reserve judgement until the speculations are proven facts. As such I will not post the news reports web links out of respect. Now if the situation was reverse, I am not sure if they would grant the same or equal respect. But I would like to naively think so.”

The other person running, Charlie Cuthbert, did not return our requests for comment.

Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story. 

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