PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The attorney for Portsmouth City Councilman Mark Whitaker has filed a motion to quash special grand jury indictments.
Whitaker is facing 20 felony charges, including identity fraud and forgery, after a special grand jury indicted him in April. The councilman is accused of forging the names of three different people.
A new judge was assigned to the case after three judges asked to be recused in April.
The latest motion from Whitaker’s defense is also asking the judge to recuse the special prosecutor from the case.
According to documents, it comes down to information provided to the special grand jury and information documents say included false and untrue facts from Sheriff’s office investigators.
Documents filed by Whitaker’s attorneys state those “false facts” tainted the ability of the special grand jury to investigate any wrongdoing of Whitaker.
Whitaker said in a statement on Friday:
It’s sad that the Sheriff and the Commonwealth’s Attorney would use their resources to attempt to hurt my wife and children, my church and my parents in order to silence my voice, gain political favor, and enhance their power. However, in the end, I know I will be vindicated.
The newest documents claim the sheriff’s investigators openly didn’t like Whitaker to include Capt. Lee Cherry, of the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office, who is one of the investigators on the case.
Cherry said, “All the evidence presented to the grand jury was gathered from reports and information supplied from the National Credit Bureau Administration and other sources. The U.S. Treasury was also involved in the investigation and this does not come as a surprise that they would come with this and this will be settled in a court of law.”
A trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 13.