CA: Former school board member’s actions were not criminal

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Former Virginia Beach School Board member Joel McDonald’s actions were highly suspicious but not criminal — that’s according to findings of Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle.

A judge removed McDonald from the seat in April after it was discovered he moved outside of the Rose Hall district for a year and a half while serving in the seat.

However, Stolle writes in a letter that in that time, McDonald never gave any false statements on where he was living and that is what would be required to charge someone with fraud.

McDonald plans to run in a November special election to win his seat back.

“The conclusion of the commonwealth’s attorney is what I expected,” McDonald said in a Tweet. “While I remain regretful that my personal circumstances led to so much disruption, I’ve done all I can to correct course and move positively forward.”

The school board initially appointed former Virginia Beach firefighter Mike Mullins to serve on the seat until November’s election. Mullins withdrew his name from the appointment after posts on his Facebook profile that some describe as racist and sexist surfaced.

The board later appointed Jessica Owens, a curriculum writer for the Virginia Department of Social Services and graduate of Ocean Lakes High School.

The special election is slated for Nov. 5.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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