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Ex-D.C. elected official charged with stealing city funds

Wednesday - 1/11/2012, 5:23pm  ET

WASHINGTON - A former elected neighborhood leader in the District has been charged with stealing almost $30,000 of city money.

William Shelton, a former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Ward 5, has been charged with using his official debit card to pay for more than $28,000 of fraudulent purchases in 2010 and 2011. Shelton reached an agreement with the District last month to repay without interest the money he'd used on items like a Lexus and purchases made at Bloomingdale's.

Shelton's attorney, Troy Poole, tells WTOP he cannot confirm or deny that his client will plead guilty to the federal charge of "access device fraud," which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The charge comes as several D.C. officials have been the recent subjects of federal probes, including D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown.

Last week, former D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $350,000 in government funds earmarked for youth sports and arts programs. Thomas has resigned from his council seat.

WTOP's Neal Augenstein contributed to this report. Follow Neal Augenstein and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)