Saturday, February 21, 2009
The following details are from Paula Reed Ward, County councilman charged, Post-Gazette, Feb. 20, 2009:
- Charles was elected in 2007.
- According to the grand jury presentment, Charles took over $154,000 from Shirley Jordan's trust.
- Shirley is a 91-year-old widow who resides in a nursing home.
- Charles, a lawyer, was her agent under a power of attorney and represented her with regard to the trust.
- Shirley claims that the $40,000 of political donations made with her money were not authorized.
- There is evidence that checks were altered and that another check was payable to a charity of which his wife was executive director.
- The power of attorney Shirley signed was "springing," that is, it did not give Charles authority under Shirley was incapacitated. The grand jury determined that she was not incapacitated at the times in question.
- Although the power of attorney states that the agent (Charles) was to serve without compensation, the claim is being made that Charles took $4,000 per month as his fee.
- Evidence was also presented to the grand jury that Charles received excessive legal fees for his work.
- Charles's sister, Kathleen, was charged with a variety of theft offenses involving Shirley as well as a former employer from whom she is accused of stealing $1.25 million.