Norfolk government employee said she lied to FBI to protect herself and Treasurer

Posted at 2:17 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-16 20:14:22-05

NORFOLK, Va. -Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot's personal life was exposed in court Wednesday as his political corruption trial continues.

Two employees with the FBI told the jury how they analyzed alleged phone calls made by Anthony Burfoot.

They also said they looked at phone calls made by Dwight Etheridge, the star witness who testified that he engaged in corruption with Burfoot at the expense of taxpayers.

The FBI dissected the bank accounts of both men's bank accounts. Prosecutors tried to make the connection that money was leaving Etheridge’s accounts and going into Burfoot’s accounts. They used charts to explain. Burfoot’s attorney Andrew Sacks fought back trying to poke holes in the connections.

Janelle Morris, a former employee of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and a current employee from the Norfolk City Treasurer’s office left court after taking the stand Wednesday afternoon.

She told the jury she lied to the FBI and a grand jury about her dealings with Anthony Burfoot who is her current boss.

She said Burfooot told her to delete text messages they sent to each other and to lie about the fact that he hired her in the City Treasurer's Office.

Morris said Burfoot told her he thought the Treasurer’s Office was bugged by the FBI and she lied to protect Burfoot and herself.

She said she signed an immunity agreement with the government Wednesday that would prevent her from getting into trouble for those allege lies.

She along with another woman, Attorney Antoinette Bacon, took the stand and said Burfoot took them to a beach house in the Outer Banks beach which federal prosecutors have said is Ronnie Boone's.

The local businessman was seen in the courthouse surrounded by his lawyers Wednesday but he didn't testify and left around 5 o'clock in the evening.

Boone is a key witness for the prosecution. Two months ago he pled guilty to bank fraud and political corruption pointing the finger at Burfoot.

Andrews Sacks, Burfoot's Attorney has said that the accusations against his client are complete lies and that criminals are using Burfoot as a scapegoat to prevent being prosecuted by the federal government.

Sacks told News 3 there have many inconsistencies with witness testimony. Tuesday he said he is very pleased with how the trial has been going so far.

"I'm very pleased. We think we're getting a very fair trial, very attentive jury. We think the justice system is going to prevail and we're just going to keep our nose to the grindstone,” said Sacks.

Burfoot has been charged with perjury and political corruption, facing a total of 8 charges.

Court is expected to continue at 10am Thursday morning.
More coverage of the trial:

Norfolk Councilman takes the stand during City Treasurer corruption trial

NFL legend Bruce Smith takes stand in Norfolk City Treasurer case

Witness testified he told another city councilman about alleged bribes he was giving Burfoot

Key witness takes the stand in Norfolk City Treasurer corruption case

Norfolk City Clerk takes the stand and opening statements heard in trial against City Treasurer

Jury selected in Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot’s corruption trial

Top Norfolk officials called to testify in trial of City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot