NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The recall trial for Norfolk Treasurer Anthony Burfoot will involve a retired substitute judge from Petersburg and a prosecutor from Richmond. Local judges and the Norfolk Commonwealth’s attorney recused themselves from the case because Burfoot is a well-known public official.
Burfoot is under federal indictment on charges of public corruption and bribery. Burfoot is accused of taking kickback in exchange for votes when he was a city council member. He has remained as treasurer since the indictment in January.
Federal prosecutors say he took more than $450,000 in kickbacks when he was a councilman, vice mayor and chief deputy treasurer.
A recall petition was certified Monday by the Voter Registration Office. Petition organizer John Wesley Hill says 6,300 signatures were collected. Only about 4,600 were needed.
Burfoot’s attorney Andrew Sacks has told 10 On Your Side’s Chris Horne that his client will remain right where he is, and has no intention of stepping down as treasurer. Sacks says Burfoot has not been convicted of anything, and the state recall case could end up compromising the effort to seat an impartial jury on the corruption charges.
Burfoot’s federal case hinges on one with an even higher profile — the one involving former Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Like McDonnell, Burfoot is facing federal corruption charges. Burfoot is waiting on the United States Supreme Court to rule on McDonnell’s case, which could happen within the next few days.
Sacks says that would pave the way for the scheduling of Burfoot’s own federal trial.
Judge James D’Alton of Petersburg will hear Burfoot’s recall case in Norfolk Circuit Court. He has the discretion under the state code to suspend Burfoot during the trial. If D’Alton would opt for suspension, Burfoot’s salary would be escrowed. Burfoot would recover the money if he gets a favorable court ruling.
No date has been set so far for either Burfoot’s federal case or his recall trial.