Hawthorne pleads; repays Chamber

First Posted: 1/3/2009

HILLSVILLE, Va. Two months after being accused of embezzling funds from the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, former Executive Director Roger Hawthorne paid the money back.
Hawthorne, 56, of Hillsville, paid $20,000 in restitution as part of a plea agreement during an appearance in Carroll County Circuit Court on Dec. 23.
After Hawthorne pleaded guilty to one amended count of petit larceny, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Colin R. Gibb sentenced him to 12 months in New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin, with all 12 months suspended when certain conditions were met.
Those conditions included repayment of $20,000, 40 hours of community service within one year and 12 months of probation through the Virginia Department of Corrections.
The chamber also allowed Hawthorne to retrieve certain items of personal property.
Hawthorne completed the restitution condition during the hearing, as a check for $20,000 was given to Hillsville Town Manager Larry South, who was representing the Chamber at the hearing and agreed to the settlement on its behalf.
Hawthorne was originally indicted and charged on Oct. 23 with a felony count of embezzlement after the chamber board had problems scheduling meetings with Hawthorne for long periods of time and requested a state police investigation. During the course of the investigation, close to $50,000 came under question. The Commonwealth motioned to have the felony embezzlement charge amended to the count of misdemeanor petit larceny.

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