Some news is many times swept under the rug but ANC Commissioner Vaughn Bennett is trying to pull that rug up. As many already know, ANC5B has been under investigation for some alleged wrong doing in regards to its finances. Back in June, News Channel 9 broke a story about the misappropriation of nearly $30,000 of the city funds from the ANC. This story came a week after Councilmember Thomas’ own issues with campaign funds (ANC5B is in Ward 5). The allegations say that the money was taken from the ANC bank accounts through an ATM card in Chairman William Shelton’s name over a 8 month period. This coincides with Shelton’s loss of employment 6 months prior. The money was spent on a car note (Lexus, which Shelton drives), Bloomingdales, and other retail locations. Click the picture or here to see the news segment.
After this story broke, William Shelton and deputy chair of the ANC resigned leaving a power vacuum at the ANC. It appears that the DC Government has ordered the ANC to get its affairs in order, including what to do with the ANC5B staff person, who alleges that the ANC owes her more than $5,000 for her services. It is unclear at this point as to her involvement in the misappropriations of funds. Regina James, a Commissioner on the ANC, held an ad-hoc meeting on Sept 1 that another commissioner, Vaughn Bennett, cried foul over saying that the public was not properly notified. Another source has claimed that the commission is trying to let this issue settle in hopes of it going away, saying that the ANC commission has operated as a “good ‘ole boys and girls club” by a small group of people.
Vaughn Bennett is holding an “Emergency ANC5B04” meeting on Monday, August 22 from 7-9pm at the Woodridge Public Library (1901 Hamlin Street NE). He recently put fliers on the doors in his Single Member District with the intended agenda:
A critical discussion and update on the status of ANC 5B.
- Did you know that that (sic) over $30,000 was stolen from ANC 5B, and that we have $7.00 in the bank?
- What are the responsibilities of an ANC? “Each Advisory Neighborhood Commission (“Commission”) may advise the Council of the District of Columbia, the Mayor and each executive agency, and all independent agencies, boards and commissions of the government of the District of Columbia with respect to all proposed matters of District government policy…”
- What are the responsibilities of a SMD (5B04) Commissioner? To be the eyes ears and mouth of the people. We are on the same team!
- Did you know that ANC Commissioners do not get paid?
- Did you know that ANC 5B has an office that only one Commissioner (out of 12) has access to?
I think there are a lot of unanswered questions going on with our ANC. How can we expect anything to move forward in our community when our own ANC is misappropriating monies, cannot work together, and does not keep the public THEY SERVE involved?
In my opinion, it is time that the entire ANC step down and allow new leaders help bring dignity back (or for the first time) to our community.