- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (AP) - In a story Dec. 15 about a former Shepherd University administrator’s criminal case, The Associated Press reported erroneously that a jury found Elizabeth “Libby” Shanton guilty of 14 counts of misuse of a state-issued purchasing card. Shanton was found guilty of 15 counts of the charge. The AP also incorrectly spelled the last name of the judge. It is Sanders, not Saunders.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Ex-Shepherd official convicted of some purchasing charges

Jury convicts former Shepherd University administrator of some purchasing charges

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A jury found a former Shepherd University administrator guilty Tuesday of 15 counts of misuse of a state-issued purchasing card.

The Jefferson County Circuit Court jury also found 50-year-old Elizabeth “Libby” Shanton of Martinsburg not guilty Tuesday of one count of fraudulent schemes and 39 other counts of misuse of a state-issue purchasing card, The Journal (https://bit.ly/1OuLNRL) reported.

Jurors began deliberations on Monday following two weeks of testimony.

Sentencing was set for Feb. 22.

Shanton, who had served as the university’s dean of student affairs, was indicted in 2013 on charges of using the purchasing card 53 times between October 2010 and August 2012 to buy $85,000 worth of designer handbags, perfume, cosmetics, windshield wiper blades and other goods and services that weren’t for official state purposes.

Shanton’s attorney, Shawn McDermott, told jurors on Monday in closing arguments that she was a scapegoat for a “liberal culture of spending” at Shepherd.

In her closing arguments, Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor Attorney Brandy Sims pointed to multiple receipts Shanton did and did not turn in to Shepherd’s purchasing department as proof that she was being “willfully deceitful” and attempting to hide her alleged spending spree.

Circuit Judge David A. Sanders had collapsed all 53 counts of misuse of a state-issued purchasing card into a separate fraudulent scheme count. Saunders determined that the purchasing card’s use was a continuing offense. But his decision was overturned in May by the West Virginia Supreme Court, which said the 53 counts constitute separate offenses.

The Supreme Court’s opinion said Sanders deprived the state of its right to prosecute the case.

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