Cumberland Times-News

Local News

August 20, 2013

Piedmont town foreman to serve three months in FEMA trailer case

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Piedmont’s town foreman was sentenced to serve three months in federal prison Monday after being convicted of the charge of conversion of government property, an offense that carried a maximum 10-year prison term and a fine of up to $250,000, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II.

John Shingler, 48, of Westernport, who is currently employed as the town foreman in Piedmont, remains free on bond, pending his self-reporting to a designated federal institution.

Shingler was also ordered to be placed on one year of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence. Shingler was also ordered to pay a special assessment of $100 and make restitution of $3,000.

The case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police.

Shingler pleaded guilty to the charge in May through a plea agreement that dismissed five other counts relating to theft of government property. The charges were contained in a six-count indictment returned against Shingler in November.

According to federal documents, Shingler represented the town of Piedmont when he obtained six surplus property Gulf Stream travel trailers from the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property in July 2009. The value of the trailers was placed by the agency at $111,000.

Private citizens, including Shingler, paid the city $1,000 for each of the six surplus trailers and the city then issued a check for $6,000 to the WVSAP for the surplus property. The city had agreed with the agency to utilize the trailers for officers, law enforcement and for a water project, according to court records.

Investigation determined the trailers were not put to use as agreed upon and instead were placed in the possession of private citizens.

The trailers were later returned to the town of Piedmont and have been in paid storage since that time.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul T. Camilletti.

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