By Debbie Hall and Cory Higgs
The vice chairman of the Patrick County School Board resigned, effective Sept. 30, and his opponent in the November election was appointed to fill the slot.
In his resignation letter to the school board, Ronnie Terry, of the Blue Ridge District, said he made the decision to step down after “careful consideration in order to give the board the opportunity to move forward with the schools business without any interruptions on my part.”
Terry, 56, of Meadows of Dan, did not attend the special called school board meeting Friday.
He has been 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 to the post.
When interviewed about those allegations, Terry said “I should have done better. It’s all my fault. I got lazy and tried to take a shortcut. I hate this happened, and I’m trying to stand up and do what’s right. 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.”
In his resignation letter, dated Sept. 25, Terry said “working with the Patrick County School Board has been a wonderful experience that has afforded me many valuable opportunities to learn and grow, and I am very grateful to have been part of this board.”
He turned himself in at the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, Sept. 13 and posted his $3,000 bond.
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.
In a separate action, the board appointed Shannon Harrell, who was opposing Terry in the November election, to fill the slot.
Harrell’s appointment is “until the voters fill the vacancy at the general election to be held in November and the person so elected has qualified for the office,” a resolution stated.
Terry could not be immediately reached for comment.