TAZEWELL, Va. – An investigation by the Virginia State Police has cleared a professor at Appalachian School of Law of allegations of election fraud.
Prior to the Jan. 23 Republican primary for the 38th District Senate seat, complaints were filed with the voter registrars in Tazewell and Buchanan counties alleging that candidate Chad Dotson did not live in the district. As required by law, both registrars forwarded the complaint to their commonwealth’s attorneys’ offices for investigation.
Both Tazewell County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Plaster and Buchanan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington cited conflicts with the probe and asked that a special prosecutor to be appointed. Circuit Judge Rich Patterson granted the requests Jan. 20 and appointed Roanoke County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Holohan to handle the complaints.
Holohan said Feb. 18 that he asked the Virginia State Police to investigate. After reviewing the evidence collected, the VSP said it did not believe there was any wrongdoing.
Dotson owns a home in Wise County, which is across the street from the district line. His family lives in the Wise County home and he stays in an apartment near the law school, which is in the district and was the address he used to file for election.
Dotson, a former commonwealth’s attorney and judge, has said he plans to buy a home in Buchanan County. Dotson finished second to Travis Hackworth in the primary to run for the state Senate seat that was held by Ben Chafin, who died Jan. 1 from complications of COVID-19.