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Press Release

Former Mayor of Clinchco Sentenced to Prison on Federal Fraud Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Peggy Sue Stanley-Mickens Admitted to Using Town Funds for Personal Home Improvements

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – The former mayor of Clinchco, Virginia in Dickenson County, was sentenced 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, previously pled guilty today to one count of theft concerning programs receiving Federal funds, one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. Today in District Court, Mickens was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of six months and was ordered to make restitution to the Town of Clinchco in the amount of $6,179.47.

“Peggy Mickens abused her position of trust to enrich herself and for that she has been held accountable,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “The United States Attorney’s Office takes reports of public corruption seriously and will continue to pursue federal charges against public officials, when appropriate.”

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, without any type of procurement formalities or approval, hired a contractor to remodel her home and paid for it from the town’s BB&T bank account via checks signed by her.  The defendant took these actions without the knowledge or consent of town officials.

Mickens also fraudulently used a Lowe’s credit card maintained by the Town of Clinchco, 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.

Updated September 22, 2016

Public Corruption