Bristol, Va. community reacts to former BVU Chair guilty pleas in federal corruption case

Former BVU Chair Paul Hurley pleaded guilty to mail fraud and perjury Monday morning

BRISTOL, VA. (WJHL)- The Bristol, Va. community reacted just hours after Former Bristol Virginia Utilities Board Chairman Paul Hurley pleaded guilty to mail fraud and perjury charges Monday.

“I’m glad that he did plead guilty that he did admit to what he did was wrong,” said Bristol, Virginia resident Kaye Gillman.

According to investigators, Hurley sold at least 50 race tickets to Bristol Motor Speedway scalpers and friends. When grand jurors asked him about those tickets, Hurley allegedly lied. Earlier this year he told News Channel 11 the tickets were for economic development; to try and lure investors to do business in Bristol, Va.

About a decade ago Hurley served as Mayor of Bristol, Va. Now that he has pleaded guilty to federal charges, community members are questioning his mayorship and whether an investigation into it needs to happen.

“It makes you wonder what else he did that we didn’t know about,” Gillman said. “Just like government, just like with all the things you hear about the presidential races now, what is being done that is behind our back.”

News Channel 11 spoke over the phone with current Bristol, Va. Mayor Archie Hubbard about whether he thinks an investigation into Hurley’s mayorship needs to be conducted and he said no. Hubbard said as far as he knows, the mayor does not have access to city money to do something like that.

Still, Gillman wants more from Hurley. “I think he needs to apologize for… Bristol, being a mayor, apologize for the kids that coming up where he was a teacher the example that he setting to go and do this.”

Hurley faces up to 25 years behind bars and up to $500,000 in fines.

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