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Monday, December 26, 2011

WP: Shelton to Repay Stolen ANC Funds

The Post's Mike DeBonis reports that ANC5B Chair William Shelton has agreed to replay nearly $29,000 in public funds that he allegedly misappropriated from ANC5B's coffer. Under the deal he will make an initial payment of $5,000, and then pay $200 a month. So Shelton has ten years to pay back the the funds. The article makes no mention of any interest charges, but does say that Shelton will be liable for treble damages should he fail to make timely payments. The stolen funds were used for various things, including payments on Shelton's Lexus, and purchases at Target and Bloomingdale. The article says it's unclear whether the DC Attorney General will refer Shelton's case for prosecution. If they choose not to prosecute, Shelton basically gets (assuming no interest) a free ten year loan. That's similar to the situation with Harry Thomas. Why are we creating a perverse incentive that reward criminals for stealing?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Why are we creating a perverse incentive that reward criminals for stealing?"

Because we live in the District which re-elected a convicted felon for mayor and continues to tolerate his (and Thomas, and Alexanders, and Kwame Browns) hijinx in the name of "racial persecution"

Unless and until this city is run by the people who pay for the government it for the people who pay for the government you will continue to see this problem.

Poo can wax with the best said...

It's a vicious circle. We are unlikely to have representation in congress with the crazy corruption we have in dc, and then we have all this crazy corruption because we "don't count" on the Hill. Literally.

A big part of this problem is simply our lack of representation in federal government. What would YOU do if you lived in a system with not a lot of accountability, and the majority of local voters don't even have a GED?

Exactly.

Washington, DC.

I'm actually sitting next to POO! said...

Maybe, like the Arab spring, we need a civic minded citizen to set themselves on fire for any hope of change...

Anonymous said...

"we have all this crazy corruption because we "don't count" on the Hill."

I fail to see the causality....PG county has representation on the Hill and has the same level of corruption (so for that matter does Chicago).

a_w said...

Here is more dirt related to this post:

http://www.brooklandheartbeat.org/winter11_thomas.html

It's all such a shame. Think about how nice our parks would be if all of this money would have been used properly. I doubt we would have an issue with the gate on our new park being torn down and taking forever to fix.

oboe said...

Political dysfunction is a function of poverty.

Estimated median household income in 2009: $59,290 (it was $40,127 in 2000)

Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $443,700 (it was $153,500 in 2000)


(Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Washington-District-of-Columbia.html#ixzz1hkjIRSEn)

New Census Bureau population estimates find that the District grew dramatically in the 15 months after the 2010 Census, to nearly 618,000 residents.

(http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/post/dc-population-estimated-at/2011/12/21/gIQAW8Bk9O_blog.html)

Anonymous said...

Political corruption is not a function of poverty there is plenty of corruption in wealthy places. Corruption is a function of unchecked power and poor personal character. Leaders must be held criminally liable for stealing and for violating the public trust, period! As citizens we must demand it Ward 5 residents should be calling/emailing the attorney general and demanding criminal charges.

Anonymous said...

"Political dysfunction is a function of poverty."

If that were true, given the census numbers you cite, shouold political dysfunction in DC be going down? It doesn't seem like that's the case.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1:01pm said
"Political dysfunction is a function of poverty."

If that were true, given the census numbers you cite, shouold political dysfunction in DC be going down? It doesn't seem like that's the case."
==========

I think it is....as someone who remembers dealing with the DC Govt in the era of Sharron Pratt Kelly and Barry post-prison the city has gotten more and more functional as it has gotten more white/upscale.

On a basic level I think there is a lower tolerance of the extractive kleptocracy that you see when you have mass concentration of poverty and unregulated federal dollars (see Youngstown and New Orleans as examples). A middle class expects a government that answers its phones, gets the potholes patched and keeps the riff-raff out....and because they pay taxes the get pretty huffy if it doesn't happen. The urban poor pay nothing into the system and therefore don't really care if someone is skimming because graft runs both ways (Barry's patronage school teachers & DCRA staffers come to mind....)

Handsome Sammy said...

Some of this can be attributed to the fact that the DC Attorney General can't prosecute Harry Thomas or William Shelton. Prosecution in DC is left to the U.S. Attorney's office which has different priorities, and probably different metrics that they are concerned about meeting.

They just have to please the President and the congress to a lesser extent. They aren't accountable to the citizens.

CCCA Prez said...

RE: free ten year loan. Since when did citizens provide bling bailouts for ANC commissioners?

Only commenting on blogs is not going to get your message across to the right people.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/about/contact.html

U.S. Attorney's Office - Main Line: 202-252-7566

U.S. Attorney's Office - TTD Line: 202-514-7558

Community Prosecution

1D Community Prosecution: 202-729-3718
2D Community Prosecution: 202-715-7374
3D Community Prosecution: 202-671-1892
4D Community Prosecution: 202-715-7415
5D Community Prosecution: 202-698-0145
6D Community Prosecution: 202-698-0825
7D Community Prosecution: 202-698-1452

Anonymous said...

Only gentrification will change this. The old guard has got to go and not be replaced by the same like-minded officials we have now. We couldn't even get a judge to throw Honorable Barry in jail for repeated failures to file tax returns (while on probation - go figure).
Next election, the right folks need to rally behind the right candidate, just as the faction did East of the river to get Mr Gray elected.

Anonymous said...

"Only gentrification will change this." You are so right because gentrification is a known cure of political corruption...what a tool

AndTobago said...

I'm for gentrification if it gets rid of the feckless morons we have on the council right now. What we've had isn't working, that's for certain.

Handsome Sammy said...

Part of the issue is that this is a one party town. You notice that the general election is a joke. Who was the Republican candidate last year? What incentive does the Democratic party have to change and put forth some fresh faces if they know that once they will the primary, they are in.
I hate the Republican Party natinally, but I think that DC needs another party to balance things out and maybe clean house once in a while.

oboe said...

As someone pointed out up-thread, anyone who thinks corruption is worse today than it was twenty years ago hasn't been around very long. If anything, the fact that there are investigations ongoing says a lot about how tolerance for such behavior has gone down.

Look, if you have a very poor population, that population wants patronage from it's government. It doesn't care if the snow is plowed; it wants jobs. This is normal, and not necessarily "bad".

But when local government is primarily a patronage machine, the larger goal of "providing services" is obviously eclipsed. And when government is seen as primarily a way of delivering patronage, it's not a very long way from there to helping oneself to the till. After all, at that point, you're just haggling over price.

When the electorate is majority middle-class, it's services that are in the forefront, not patronage. So government efficiency becomes key.

Is there occasional corruption and graft in places like Montgomery County and Fairfax? Of course, but it's rarely institutional because there are many "veto points" where it can be uncovered. It's rare that you'll have an entire legislative body elected with the sole purpose of raiding the treasury for their constituents benefit.

Middle-class voters tend to vote in favor of efficient, functioning government. And they see graft and corruption as antithetical to that goal.

I'm not saying one is "better" or more moral than the other. If I'm unemployed, uneducated, and without hope, I'm going to vote for the guy who's willing to take school modernization funds for the next decade, skim 5% off the top, and use the rest to fund make-work jobs that will put me in the middle-class, at which time I'll move to the suburbs where they have a functioning government.

That's basically what we did in DC for about twenty years.

oboe said...

Apologies for my ongoing struggle with "it's" versus "its". I know the rule, I just can't apply it.

Rick said...

oboe, nicely said. that was probably the most intelligent and perceptive post I've ever read on this blog. i wish there were more points like that and less anonymous sniping.

danmac said...

oboe I don't question your premise that people want jobs but based on these numbers from 2010
More than 50 percent of D.C. government employees do not live in the District:

18,444 District government employees live in Maryland
3,720 District government employees live in Virginia
18,593 District government employees live in the District
Source: D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi
and from DC B of E same period Nov 2010 DC registered voters
TOTALS 344,630 29,972 4,358 1,420 73,492 453,872
I question how those 18,593 employees are able to give us these inept clowns I'm inclined to think it is developer money

poo wonders said...

how many district residents work for MD or VA government?

zero?

oboe said...

@danmac:

oboe I don't question your premise that people want jobs but based on these numbers from 2010..

Sure but that's a legacy of the last several decades. Barry essentially created the PG middle-class. They weren't fired when they sold their houses in DC and moved to a bigger (safer) house in the suburbs. The real question is how many of those DC government workers lived in DC at one point.

In the current situation it makes less and less sense to keep a DC government workforce that's larger than absolutely necessary to deliver services. The money over and above the minimum is just going to stabilize suburban communities and fill suburban coffers.

It's tough to turn an aircraft carrier around.

jarebear said...

Why can't the DC Attorney General prosecute him?