Patrick Co. board member weighs options after legal issues surface

By Debbie Hall

The vice chairman of the Patrick County School Board is weighing his options and considering a path forward after legal issues recently arose.

Ronnie Terry, 56, of Meadows of Dan, was indicted on one count each election fraud and forging a public record in connection with documents submitted to the Patrick County Registrar’s Office while seeking a fourth term as the Blue Ridge District representative.

“I should have done better. It’s all my fault. I got lazy and tried to take a shortcut,” he said. “I hate this happened, and I’m trying to stand up and do what’s right.”

But until he meets with an attorney, Terry said he is hesitant to continue discussions.

Terry said he turned himself in at the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, Sept. 13, signed the necessary paperwork and posted his $3,000 bond.

“I just want to figure out how to fix it. It is a bad situation and I messed up,” he said. “I want to do the best I can for the board and the best I can for the county. That’s what I’ve always tried to do.”

Brandon Simmons, board chairman, said he was “very surprised” when he learned about the charges. “Ronnie is a good guy and he will do what he thinks is right for himself and the board.

“I think it will all work out,” Simmons said, adding he does not “believe this will be a blemish on the board because it was not a board action.”

Terry said he will appear in court on Oct. 7 for a counsel hearing.

When announcing his reelection bid in March, Terry said he served five years as chairman and spent several years as vice chairman during his tenure.


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