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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Former Mayor of Clinchco Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud Charges

Peggy Sue Stanley-Mickens Admits to Using Town Funds for Personal Home Improvements

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – The former mayor of Clinchco, Virginia in Dickenson County, pled guilty today in Federal Court to fraud charges stemming from her use of town funds used to make improvements and repairs to her personal home while she was Mayor, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced.

Peggy Sue Stanley Mickens, 50, of Clinchco, Virginia, pled guilty today to one count of theft concerning programs receiving Federal funds, one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud.

“This defendant misused her position of public trust for her own personal benefit,” United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said today. “We will continue to look into all manners of public corruption and prosecute those who misuse public money for their own benefit.”

According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Russell County Commonwealth’s Attorney and Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian Patton, Mickens was elected Mayor of Clinchco in May 2012, at which time she gained access to, and possession of the town’s banking instrument, credit cards, invoices and banking statements.

In 2013, Clinchco received approximately $20,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] via a Community Development Block Grant, to be used to rehabilitate homes and/or construct new homes in the town.

Mickens admitted today that, without any type of procurement formalities or approval she hired a contractor to remodel her home and paid for it from the town’s BB&T bank account via a checks signed by Peggy Sue Stanley Mickens.

The defendant took these actions without the knowledge or consent of town officials.

Mickens also admitted today to using a Lowe’s credit card maintained by the Town of Clinchco on August 26, 2013. The defendant admitted to using the town’s credit card, without the knowledge or consent of town officials, to charge $662 from the Lowe’s store in Wise, Virginia to obtain materials for her personal home.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia State Police.  Russell County Commonwealth’s Attorney and Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian Patton prosecuted the case for the United States.

Public Corruption
Updated May 3, 2016