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Wanamaker sentenced to probation for stealing federal money

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Buffalo: Wanamaker sentenced to probation for stealing federal money
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A former Buffalo city official who stole about $30,000 in federal money won't be serving time in prison. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti was in court Tuesday as Timothy Wanamaker was sentenced to probation, and tells us he could have served up to 10 years behind bars.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — He went from a career in public service to selling cars online.

Now, Timothy Wanamaker has three years of probation ahead of him after pleading guilty to stealing nearly $30,000 in federal money intended for economic development in Buffalo.

Wanamaker admitted that while serving as the Executive Director of Buffalo's Office of Strategic Planning from 2004 to 2008 he used a business credit card for personal expenses.

"He's horribly sorry, this has eaten at him before he was even charged," said Jim Harrington, Wanamaker's attorney.

Wanamaker faced a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, but after the U.S. Attorney's Office says he cooperated with the FBI, they recommended he be made eligible for probation.

"Some of Mr. Wanamaker's information has enabled HUD to go back to the city and attempt to resolve administratively some of the ways or issues that HUD had with the way HUD money was being counted for and dispersed by the city," said Joseph Guerra, assistant U.S. Attorney.

"In part, based upon what he has told the agents here, there have been some modifications in how money is distributed and accounted for with the city," said Harrington.

While he court, Wanamaker apologized to the Mayor, his staff and the citizens of Buffalo.
Wanamaker also says he plans to continue working with communities to build and rebuild in the future.

"Part of his probation is that he has to disclose his conviction, but I can tell you this, if I ran a community organization, even with his conviction, he's the kind of person you'd want. He's very talented," said Harrington.

As part of his sentence, Wanamaker has to pay more than $27,000 in restitution to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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