Indictments returned this week against four people in a vote fraud case are only part of a long-running investigation of alleged corruption in the Wise County town of St. Paul. The Bristol Herald Courier has details.
Consider it a study in contrasts. In Gloucester County, where citizens protested a January clean sweep at the county government office, a special grand jury was appointed in three months and rendered both criticism and criminal indictments four months later. In St. Paul, however, the investigation of town government issues has been dragging on for four years. The project is now on its second special grand jury, although the same jurors make up the panel.
One issue that has been a matter of public record is the charge that outsiders were induced to try to cast ballots in the town elections in May. Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ron Elkin is quoted as saying that he’s also investigating allegations that town officials told police “not to patrol certain areas.”