augusta free press news

Arrest made in embezzlement case involving Staunton Farmers’ Market

John W. Oakes
John W. Oakes. Photo courtesy Staunton Police Department.

The City of Staunton issued a news release on Wednesday to report that city officials had become aware that the former treasurer of the Staunton Farmers’ Market would be facing embezzlement charges.

Today we get confirmation that the former treasurer, John W. Oakes, 69, of Port Republic, has been served with the grand jury indictments charging him with seven counts of embezzlement.

Oakes was subsequently released on bond, per a release from the Staunton Police Department issued on Thursday.

That’s all we have on that part of the story.

The city part is that the Staunton City Code provides for the establishment of the farmers’ market, which, interesting, that.

The release from the city from yesterday points out that the market has evolved since its founding so that its governance, management and operations are handled exclusively by a self-appointed market committee, which selects the market manager and treasurer.

In the coming weeks, per the Wednesday release from the city, city representatives will engage with the new market manager and new market treasurer to review the underlying legal framework for the market and the working relationship between the city and the market.

“Together, city and market representatives will consider possible improvements to the structure of the market and the city-market relationship, all to ensure the market’s continuation for years to come as a strong and contributing part of the fabric of the community,” per the release.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press