Former D.C. official admits to using city funds for personal purchases

A Northeast Washington neighborhood leader admitted Friday that he stole $28,000 in D.C. government funds to finance personal expenses that ranged from car repairs to purchases at Target.

William Shelton, 42, the former chairman of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5B, pleaded guilty to a charge of access device fraud in the District’s federal court.

Under federal guidelines, he will face between six and 12 months in prison at a sentencing scheduled for May 4 before U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell.

According to court papers, Shelton used a debit card for an ANC bank account, which was funded by the D.C. government, to purchase personal items between August 2010 and March 2011.

He made 120 cash withdrawals, obtaining $27,129.85, and used the debit card to make $1,396.36 in direct purchases, Shelton admitted in signed court documents.

The purchases included a $500 payment to a glass company to repair the windshield on his Lexus, a $127.18 bill at Target and $105.94 in purchases from Syms, a now-defunct discount retailer.

“There is no excuse for using the public treasury as a personal slush fund,” said Ronald C. Machen Jr., the District’s U.S. Attorney, in a statement.

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