A Democratic member of the Roanoke, Va., city council is refusing to step down even after he was indicted for multiple felonies.
Councilman Robert Jeffrey Jr., who faces two counts of embezzlement and two counts of obtaining money by false pretense, refused Monday to resign or to take a leave of absence.
"I'm not leaving office, period," Jeffrey, who says he's innocent of the charges, told the council.
His fellow council members then passed a 6-0 resolution that asked him to step down.
Jeffrey is charged with embezzling money, property, or both from a Roanoke nonprofit and with obtaining money by false pretenses from the city’s Economic Development Authority. Police also found evidence that he exaggerated numbers to obtain pandemic relief money.
The city government has no power to force a council member out of office, but Jeffrey will forfeit his seat if he is convicted and has exhausted all his appeals, the Roanoke Times reported.
Roanoke vice mayor Trish White-Boyd (D.) said in an interview that Jeffrey is "impeding council with his presence."