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Vice Chair Steps Down 2 weeks after allegations against Chair

1:09 PM, Jun 27, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Just one week after investigators allege Councilman Harry Thomas, Jr. stole $300,000 of city money, an elected official from his ward is under fire.

9NEWS NOW has obtained letters the DC auditor sent to the Office of the Inspector General and the Attorney General, calling for an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of nearly $30,000 from a city fund.  According to members of the commission, the account was nearly wiped clean, from $34,000 to just $6.00.  At this point the ANC will have a hard time paying upcoming bills.

According to the auditor, an illegally obtained Wachovia Bank ATM card was issued to William Shelton, the chairman of ANC 5B.  When we stopped by his Montana Avenue apartment Friday to find out about the missing money, he would not talk to us.  He later called and said he would have a "complete explanation" on Monday.

He texted on Monday to say: "I am fully cooperating with the Auditor's office and have been asked to reserve public comment until these matters have been resolved.  Sorry for any confusion."  But when we called the auditor's office, they said they hadn't heard from Shelton.  His scheduled appearance is set for Tuesday.

Investigators allege $27,000 in cash was withdrawn from ATM's in the 8 months between August 2010 and March 2011. Payments were also made to a dozen vendors including, AT&T, Bloomingdales, Target, and Lexus.  A source tells 9NEWS NOW Shelton used a portion of the money to pay the car note on his Lexus.

"It disappointing and upsetting especially considering all that's going on in the city," says fellow ANC 5B commissioner Regina James. "There is an air of corruption in the city that we have to take a hold of and keep people informed so we can regain the public's trust." 

James has been on the ANC 14 years now and was involved in crafting the legislation that banned ATM's for ANC's.  "Bank cards were specifically mentioned because it leaves no paper trail."

Gottlieb Simon, executive director of the office of ANC's says, "This is a very serious situation that we need complete answers to." 

Simon said Shelton was supposed to surrender the ATM card Thursday but never showed up to the auditor's office.  The account has since been frozen.

On Friday June 24, David Hooper stepped down as Vice Chair of the ANC 5B citing "my busy and demanding schedule."  He goes on to say in a resignation letter obtained by 9NEWS NOW, "However, I will continue the facilitation of laborious efforts in collaboration with public and private sectors to enhance quality of life for constituents in my respective Single Member District 5B-07."

Also, the officers of ANC 5B called on a city council hearing into the "alleged theft."

We will keep you updated when one is scheduled.

Written by Delia Goncalves
9NEWS NOW & WUSA9.COM

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