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Election probe clears Culpeper prosecutor

An attorney’s complaint challenging the residency qualifications of Culpeper County Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan Frederick has been declared to be unfounded.

Sammy Walker, in a complaint filed with Frederick’s office, alleged that Frederick and her husband, Greg, were guilty of election fraud because they falsified statements about living in Culpeper.

Since Megan Frederick could not investigate herself, she petitioned the circuit court in early March to have LaBravia Jenkins, who is commonwealth’s attorney for the city of Fredericksburg, appointed as a special prosecutor.

In an April 12 letter to Chief Circuit Judge Daniel Bouton, Jenkins wrote: “An investigation has been conducted with the assistance of the Virginia State Police. The allegations against Mr. and Mrs. Frederick are deemed to be without merit and no further action will be taken.”

According to Culpeper County Registrar Michele White, Walker twice took his allegations to the county Electoral Board.

“He wanted my board to file a complaint with the local commonwealth’s attorney’s office, which we chose not to do,” said White. “The state Board of Elections pretty much said the same thing.

“He’s been over here looking at voter registration records maybe 10 times,” White added. “He asked us twice to initiate an investigation, but we have no investigative powers.”

It was at that point that Walker apparently filed a complaint about Frederick with Frederick’s office.

In order to run for local office, the law states that a person must be 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a Virginia voter and a resident of the local jurisdiction for 30 days prior to the election.

On April 5, 2012, according to documents from the registrar’s office, Megan Frederick moved her place or residency from Richmond back to Culpeper, where she grew up. She listed her address as 7250 Trilock Lane, the home of her grandmother.

That change of residency occurred three weeks before Frederick lost the Republican nomination to incumbent commonwealth’s attorney Paul Walther at an April 26 GOP mass meeting.

Her husband also moved his residency back to Culpeper prior to the election, also listing the Trilock Lane address.

Frederick, in a major upset, defeated Walther in a November special election six months later.

“As I have said since 2012, Mr. Walker’s allegations are without merit,” Frederick said Tuesday. “They are just slander.”

The commonwealth’s attorney said she asked that Jenkins be appointed as special prosecutor “so we could put an end to this.”

Two calls attempting to reach Walker for comment were not returned.

Donnie Johnston: