Grubbs hospitalized, skips court appearance

GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) - A surprising development today in court after former Goochland County Treasurer Brenda Grubbs failed to show up for her arraignment.

Grubbs is facing twenty felony charges stemming from her arrest in February for embezzling hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

Grubbs' attorney told the judge Tuesday she is currently in the hospital. A rescue squad was called to her house this weekend after she was found unresponsive. Her case has been continued until next month but now there are concerns about her mental and physical health moving forward.

Grubbs was supposed to plead either guilty or not guilty Tuesday. A judge said he's now concerned about Grubbs' well-being and that she may be a danger to herself.

"Based on what happened here today," said Jeff Haislip, the special prosecutor. "I think we can put two and two together."

The judge ruled he will not arrest Grubbs on contempt of court charges for not showing up. He will bring her back to court next month for a status hearing.

The prosecutor says he's trying to tip-toe with this case. He's trying to prosecute the case while not making a bad situation worse.

"Certainly that's a concern," Haislip said. "We don't mean to sound uncaring. In any case, we have our job to do and that's what we're here to do."

There was a small group of concerned citizens that came to court today to see Brenda Grubbs face the charges against her. They say they were disappointed though when they found out she would not be making an appearance.

"I was hoping I'd see the end of this drama," said Ann James. "But it was not to be."

James has been to every one of Grubbs' court appearances. Like many people in Goochland, she wants answers after thousands of taxpayer dollars were allegedly misused.

"I'm ready to get this over and done with," she said. "I think the citizens of Goochland County are too."

Grubbs is currently hospitalized at Henrico Doctor's Hospital. The judge says he decided not to hold her in contempt because her charges are not violent and she can't harm anyone else now that she's no longer treasurer.

A state audit revealed Grubbs allegedly embezzled over $180,000. The audit also found nearly $50,000 in accounting errors.

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