A shooting, a guilty plea, your tax bills, and basketball: News briefs

Two men were wounded in an officer-involved shooting at this spot on 2nd Street NW near the Downtown Mall on March 16. Photo by Graelyn Brashear. Two men were wounded in an officer-involved shooting at this spot on 2nd Street NW near the Downtown Mall on March 16. Photo by Graelyn Brashear.

Check c-ville.com daily and pick up a copy of the paper Tuesday to for the latest Charlottesville and Albemarle news briefs and stories. Here’s a quick look at some of what we’ve had an eye on for the past week.

Police-involved shooting leaves two wounded, cop on leave 

Two men were wounded early Saturday morning in the first officer-involved shooting in the city since 2006, according to the Daily Progress.

In a press conference Saturday, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said a passerby who witnessed the 12:45am incident on 2nd Street NW near the Downtown Mall reported a man with a pistol standing over a man on the ground. Police officer Alex Bruner then rode up on a bicycle, and the passerby reported hearing “at least one gunshot.” Two men were later taken to UVA Hospital, and while police are not revealing whether Bruner shot either of the men, The Hook reported he acknowledged firing his weapon. The Hook later published photos online of the bloodied men lying handcuffed in the street surrounded by crowds.

Both gunshot victims survived, but details on their conditions weren’t available Monday morning. Bruner was placed on administrative leave, which police said was standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting.

Harding pleads guilty to fraud

Albemarle developer Michael Wayne Harding pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud earlier this month, ending a case involving forged documents and embezzlement that the prosecuting attorney said went “beyond what we usually see in this district,” according to a report in The Hook.

Prosecutors said Harding, who is the brother of Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding, defrauded at least 10 people by forging loan documents and invoices, and embezzled about $125,000 from a local investor. He also admitted to bankruptcy fraud.

Harding could face up to 25 years in prison, but according to The Hook, U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy said Harding may end up serving around four years, though he may also face restitution claims from victims. Harding will remain free on $200,000 bond until his June 24 sentencing.

County proposes increased budget, lower taxes 

Albemarle County’s proposed budget for 2013-2014 is $7.2 million higher than the last fiscal year, but the property tax rate of 76.2 cents per $100 of assessed value will remain level, according to news reports. The owner of a home assessed at the county’s median value will pay $2,104 in taxes in 2013, a decrease of $104 from last year.

The proposed budget is over $321 million. According to CBS19, the largest jump in expenditures support public safety, which will see a $1.8 million increase, and education, a $2.6 million increase.

If the budget passes the Albemarle County Police Department will hire four new officers, one of whom will be a School Resource Officer for a county middle school. Police say they also want to focus on traffic safety and the enforcement of traffic laws.

According to CBS19, the county school board is facing a deficit, which is not covered by the proposed budget. But according to Chief Operating Officer Josh Davis, the county is “not facing a crisis” this season, and county staff will continue to negotiate with the Board of Supervisors.

Cavaliers left out of NCAA Tournament 

The University of Virginia men’s basketball team lost three of its final four games, and didn’t make the cut for the NCAA Tournament.

According to The Cavalier Daily, the team punched its ticket for a first National Invitation Tournament (NIT) trip under coach Tony Bennett, earning a number one seed and a first-round matchup against Norfolk State University. Virginia captured the NIT championship in 1980 and 1992, and this year marks the team’s 13th appearance in the tournament.

The NIT field consists of 32 teams, and will run from March 19-April 4, with the final three games played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. According to The Cavalier Daily, UVA will face Norfolk State University on Tuesday, March 19, at 9pm at John Paul Jones Arena.—C-VILLE writers