Tuesday, March 28, 2023

City Planning Commission Chairman Embezzlement Case Delayed Again

The Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse. (Staff Photo)
The Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse. (Staff Photo)

The trial against the City of Williamsburg Planning Commission chairman accused of embezzling from a construction company has once again been postponed, stretching the case into its second year in the court system.

It’s been two years and nine months since Courthouse Construction Inc. went to the Williamsburg Police Department to accuse Demetrios Florakis, a developer, of stealing materials from the City Lofts construction site on Richmond Road for a different project on Scotland Street.

A grand jury indicted Florakis for felony embezzlement on Jan. 15, 2014 – the same day he was named chairman of the planning commission.

A jury trial had been set to begin Dec. 9, but Florakis’ attorney – Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment – requested Wednesday to have that continued to a later date. Special Prosecutor Matthew Kite, the commonwealth’s attorney for King William County, did not object to the continuance.

Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court Judge Michael McGinty granted the request, marking the third time a trial date has been set and then continued in addition to the multiple delays and motions that have pushed the case into its second year since Florakis was charged.

A new trial date was not scheduled Wednesday. Instead, McGinty scheduled a status check for 10 a.m. Jan. 4.

A second man is also charged in the alleged theft of materials. James Jenkins, a contractor for both Florakis and Courthouse Construction Inc., is accused of stealing the construction materials, returning them to Lowe’s and then repurchasing them at a significantly lower price, court documents show.

Jenkins faces a felony grand larceny charge. His case has not had a hearing date scheduled since his trial was continued in May.

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