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Former police dispatcher pleads guilty

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By Staff Reports

Burgandy Bobbitt, a former dispatcher for the Galax Police Department, has entered a “no contest” plea to 15 charges of making “annoyance calls” to Fries resident Heather Shaffner last year.
The calls are classified as a Class 3 misdemeanor, for which the state of Virginia limits fines to $500 or less per charge.
In court in Floyd County on Feb. 3, Bobbitt was found guilty on the 15 counts and fined a total of $2,054, including court costs.
Stephanie Shortt, commonwealth’s attorney for Floyd County, prosecuted the case against Bobbitt. Shortt heard the case because the local prosecutor cited a conflict of interest due to the fact Bobbitt was a police department employee.
Shortt said that the plea agreement included dismissing a charge of profanity over a public airway, which is classified as Class 1 misdemeanor with the possibility of 12 months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Shortt would not confirm whether the “annoyance calls” were made while Bobbitt was on or off duty. She is no longer employed by the police department.
Police Chief Rick Clark declined to comment on the case, stating that it was a personnel matter.