Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bacon Official to Quit Taylor Pleads to Felony Count

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bacon Official to Quit Taylor Pleads to Felony Count

Article excerpt

ALMA -- Bacon County Commission Chairman Virgil Taylor has

pleaded no contest to a single felony count of making a false

statement in a plea agreement in which he will resign and have

another felony charge dismissed.

Taylor was to have been tried this week on a charge of making a

false statement and violating his oath of office in the Jan. 27,

1994, purchase of a piece of equipment from state surplus. Such

equipment can be bought only by local governments and not by

private individuals.

Taylor signed the plea agreement Monday, as did special

prosecutor Stacey K. Hydrick, an assistant state attorney

general.

The charge of violating his oath of office was dismissed in

exchange for the no contest plea.

Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney Rick Currie

disqualified his office from prosecuting the case because of a

conflict of interest. The Bacon County Commission pays a portion

of his office's budget.

In addition to leaving office no later than midnight June 30,

Taylor will serve six months' probation and pay a $1,000 fine.

The original sale of the equipment, a tractor/loader, will be

rescinded and the county will take possession of it and

reimburse Taylor the $3,000 purchase price, the agreement says.

Although the plea agreement was signed in open court, Senior

Superior Court Judge William J. Neville, who was assigned to try

the case, has not yet signed a sentencing order.

Taylor was suspended from office after his indictment last

October, and Commissioner Eugene Dyal has been serving in his

place. He was indicted on a charge of making a false statement

about the ownership of the equipment.

Dyal said Taylor was a good commission chairman and that his

resignation will be a loss to the county.

"He knows road building and was careful with the taxpayers'

dollars," Dyal said. …

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