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Norfolk City Treasurer: “I need to take the stand” in his political corruption trial

Norfolk, Va. - Anthony Burfoot will take the stand in his own defense. He addressed the judge Wednesday right before court let out. He said he made the decision and went on to say, “I need to take the stand.”

The trial against case against the Norfolk City Treasurer continued Wednesday with more defense witnesses taking the stand.

The former city manager Regina Williams-Gates was asked about the votes she was involved and said Burfoot never solicited her for support for the developer Tivest or Dwight Etheridge, the former owner of the company.

We also heard from several of Burfoot’s family members like his brother-in-law, sister, and mother-in-law. They testified they did not see Dwight or Curtis Etheridge doing work at Burfoot’s home.

The Etheridge brothers testified they gave Burfoot money, appliances, and did renovations to his home.

Tuesday Burfoot’s relationship with the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority was dissected in court.

The NRHA executive directors - past and present – Churl Montgomery and John Kownack - both took the stand and said they didn't see Burfoot giving special treatment to the group Tivest.
Dwight Etheridge, Tommy Arney and Ronnie Boone previously testified they gave bribes to Burfoot.

Sacks said his defense witnesses, which included city officials and leaders are more creditably than the prosecutions three key witnesses who are all convicted criminals.

“These are professionals. They have no criminal records. They are people of accomplishments. They are people that have no motive,” said Sacks. Federal prosecutors indicted Burfoot last January for perjury and political corruption. He's facing eight felony charges. They say he took almost a half a million dollars in cash, renovations to his home and other perks in exchange for his support on city council when he served as a Councilman and Vice Mayor. The defense has more witnesses expected to testify.

“There's been a lot of finger-pointing and we have a lot of responses. We have a lot of people who are on the scene at the time to refute these things and we think it's important that information get out,” said Sacks.

Burfoot is facing 8 felony charges of perjury and political corruption.