Elliott County Judge-Executive Flemen "David" Blair pleaded guilty Thursday to putting taxpayer-purchased gravel on private roads and driveways in an effort to win votes for his May 2010 re-election.
Blair's plea agreement called for him to resign and never again seek public office. He faces up to 10 years in prison, and he also agreed to pay up to $5,000 in restitution, according to a court document.
Blair, 66, pleaded guilty in federal court in Ashland to a charge of theft or bribery concerning programs that receive federal funds. He admitted that from July 2009 to July 2010 he caused gravel the county had paid for to be distributed to private citizens, at a cost of more than $5,000.
The investigation, which was handled by the FBI, showed that Blair distributed gravel to influence the outcome of the 2010 primary in Elliott County, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey.
Blair and his son, who was a deputy judge-executive and was charged with him, "wanted to build good will with the county's residents, which would spill over into the election cycles and ensure defendants' continued employment in the county government," prosecutors said in one court document.
Blair personally delivered gravel to constituents in some cases, and he and his son also directed county workers to spread gravel on private property, court records said.
Blair's son, Barry F. Blair, 42, pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor charge that he made an expenditure to persons to vote in an election.
Barry Blair faces up to a year in prison. The father and son are scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 14.