Alleged incident involving drunk Lee Co. School Board member referred to Attorney General’s Office


LEE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL)- Lee County Commonwealth’s Attorney Fuller Cridlin released a statement Thursday saying he referred accusations of drunk and disorderly conduct against a Lee County School Board member to the Attorney General’s Office.

Rob Hines, who represents District Two, abruptly resigned from the Lee County School Board, ending his re-election campaign on the same day Cridlin released the statement.

Hines didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment from News Channel 11 but in a lengthy public Facebook post Thursday, he said, “This decision is based only on considerations for my family and no other reason. Certainly not the many rumors being spread about me.”

Lee County’s four remaining school board members declined to comment but Superintendent Brian Austin confirmed a Special Called Meeting will be held August 26 at 6PM to consider the resignation. Austin said Lee County residents interested in filling the “potential vacancy” can contact a current School Board member for consideration.

Cridlin said he received multiple calls about the incident that allegedly occurred on July 27 at Papa Bear’s market in Jonesville, Virginia.

Cridlin wouldn’t confirm which school board member is being accused of drunk and disorderly conduct because that person has not been charged.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority began looking into the incident on August 5, according to Cridlin.

ABC Authority Spokesperson Valerie Hubbard said Papa Bear’s market is licensed to sell beer and wine.

She said customers are not allowed to consume alcohol on the premises.

After reviewing video surveillance, Hubbard said a special agent and enforcement team determined store employees acted appropriately by calling police and asking the two people involved to leave the property.

Cridlin said the individuals left before law enforcement arrived.

The owner of Papa Bear’s declined to comment. The Lee County Sheriff’s Department didn’t return News Channel 11’s interview request.

In a statement, Cridlin said, “The portion of the video I viewed appeared to corroborate the many complaints I had received.”

Cridlin said he reached out to the Attorney General’s Office on August 7 for assistance.

A section of his statement explains:

“I referred the matter to the Attorney General’s Office because the alleged incident involves an elected official. Any Virginia State Police investigation of an elected official for any criminal violation, misdemeanor or otherwise, must be initiated by the Attorney General’s Office, the Governor’s office, or a special grand jury. (See Virginia Code Section 52-8.2). My office does not have the authority to initiate an
investigation in any matter involving an elected official. Therefore,
the Attorney General’s office must determine whether to proceed with
further investigation in this matter. I would refer all other
inquiries about the matter to that agency.”

H. Fuller Cridlin, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Lee County

A spokesperson for the office said, “The OAG generally does not comment on pending investigations, even to confirm whether or not one exists.”

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