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Cockfighting Roosters, Pot and an Ongoing Conflict Between a Small-Town Commissioner, Mayor in Wilkes

By Jesse Wood

June 16, 2014. Just one county over is story that rivals any scripted in a soap opera. It involves a mayor and his wife, a town commissioner, marijuana and cockfighting roosters in a small town of several hundred in Wilkes County.

Last week, a judge in Wilkes County Superior Court awarded Ronda Mayor Victor Varela and his wife Teri $25,000 in compensatory damages from Ronda Commissioner Kevin Reece, according to the Wilkes Journal-Patriot.  The couple filed the suit in the summer of 2013 after Teri was secretly recorded on video smoking marijuana in their home in autumn of 2012.

This recent court decision came after “several people testified that Reece equipped an 18 year-old, with a small-button camera and provided money for him to buy marijuana. The goal was to record the mayor and his wife smoking marijuana and to plant two bags of marijuana in their house, which would later be discovered by law enforcement,” the newspaper reported on Friday.

The videos were place in the hands of the local media, Wilkes Count Sheriff Chris Shew, District Attorney Tom Horner and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, which was Varela’s employer at the time.

“Ultimately Reece hoped to blackmail Varela with the video into resigning as mayor and to stop pushing for a rooster ordinance. Reece raises roosters and has said he exports roosters internationally for cockfighting. Raising roosters is not illegal, but cockfighting is in North Carolina,” the article states.

In August, Wilkes County District Court is scheduled to hear a cyberstalking charge against Varela filed by Reece.

Read the Wilkes Journal-Patriot article for more backstory and details of this ongoing conflict between the Ronda mayor and commissioner.