ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The city council position of former councilman Robert Jeffrey Jr. was discussed in Roanoke City General District Court on Tuesday.

Presiding Judge Onzlee Ware upheld the forfeiture after Roanoke City Council Attorney, Timothy Spencer says he attempted to demonstrate that he was still a member of city council.

Although, council forfeited his seat following his conviction for obtaining money under false pretenses in March, Jeffreys attorney, Melvin Hill says the order was made improperly. He says it was required that Jeffrey be notified of the forfeiture before it occurred and it he wasn’t.

“The law was not properly followed, number one he was never notified. At the time he was at the Roanoke city jail, so it would have been a simple matter to bring him over and ask do you object or not object to it,” said Hill.

He also says it shouldn’t have been done until the conviction was finalized. Jeffrey hadn’t been found guilty until this past August.

“There was a method in which they could suspend his from his seat temporarily until the final conviction and and his appeal rights were expired with respect to his conviction but they have not done so, they have elected to forfeit his seat,” said Hill

However, Spencer claims Jeffrey forfeited when plead ‘no contest’ to the felony embezzlement and says it’s similar to pleading guilty, in which Jeffrey wouldn’t have been able to hold office.

“He is not a member of city council, and he was not ever since that order — since March 17, 2022 — when he plead guilty or plead no contest, which is the equal of pleading guilty,” said Spencer.

He added that being in an elected office is a position of trust and not property. He says Jeffrey betrayed that trust.

Jeffrey continues to serve the remainder of his 2 and a half year sentence.