An Alexandria city official was placed on administrative leave today after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of stealing $30,000 worth of government funds when he was an economic development official in Buffalo, N.Y.
“It was a serious lapse in judgment on my part,” he told U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, according to the News.
Wanamaker showed up for work in Alexandria this morning and disclosed his plea, Alexandria’s acting city manager Bruce Johnson said. Until that moment, city officials were unaware of the charges facing him, Johnson said.
The city’s internal audits staff is investigating whether there are any irregularities in any of Wanamaker’s work for Alexandria, but he did not have a city credit card nor did he travel on city business, officials said.
Reached at his home, Wanamaker declined to discuss the plea or his job in Alexandria.
Wanamaker makes $112,000 in his job overseeing the city’s fleet, its mail room, its real estate and general administration. He was hired in August 2010 after an outside agency, Walters Consulting, did a background investigation and found no criminal charges.
He left Buffalo in March 2008 to become city manager in Inglewood, Calif. He previously worked for the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corp. in 1999. The top officials of the Prince George’s organization are traveling to India with a gubernatorial delegation. But Angela Wright, the marketing director, said there had been no indication of wrong-doing while he worked there.
[This post has been updated.]