ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Former Acting Army Secretary John W. Shannon admitted shoplifting women's clothing from a post exchange near the Pentagon and has been admitted into a pretrial diversion program, the U.S. attorney said Tuesday.
Shannon, 59, was arrested outside the Ft. Myer post exchange in Arlington, Va., on Aug. 26 after store detectives saw him put the items worth about $30 into a shopping bag and leave the store without paying, U.S. Atty. Helen F. Fahey said in a statement.
The admission into the diversion program means that Shannon will not have to appear Oct. 22 before a magistrate on a federal misdemeanor charge of theft of government property, which carries a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Shannon got into the program because he is a first-time offender, the stolen goods--a blouse and skirt--were worth less than $125 and he admitted his guilt. As part of his admission to the program, the U.S. attorney's office asked Monday that the charge be dismissed, and U.S. Magistrate W. Curtis Sewell granted the motion.
For the next nine months, Shannon must participate in a shoplifting prevention program that includes a three-hour class. He also must perform 50 hours of community service and pay $100.
Shannon had served since Jan. 20 as the Army's top civilian official pending confirmation of a new secretary nominated by the Clinton Administration. After his arrest, he was placed on administrative leave at his request. A career Army officer, he retired as a colonel after 23 years of active duty.