Update: Former Jacksonville alderman pleads guilty to theft, forgery charges

By Gary Scott on July 21, 2015 at 3:16pm

A disgraced former Jacksonville alderman pleaded guilty this afternoon to theft and forgery charges.

Twenty-nine-year-old Adonnis Shaw avoided additional jail time, instead getting two years of probation and getting credit for two days in local incarceration. He was also fined nearly a thousand dollars.

Shaw was accused of first forging customer withdrawal slips last September while working at Woodforest Bank in the Jacksonville Wal-Mart, and then stealing nearly $6,000 from various accounts, most of which were active, in November and December, according to Morgan County State’s Attorney Robert Bonjean.

Eleven counts of forgery were dismissed as part of the plea deal. Bonjean says Woodforest Bank reimbursed customers affected by the theft, and that Shaw has paid restitution to the bank itself.

“We were just trying to enact some form of recognition of the wrongdoing that did occur, and I think by having him plead guilty to the theft over [$500 charge] and one count of forgery, [it was] recognized,” Bonjean says.

“From my review of the situation, I don’t have a good explanation as to why it occurred, or how maybe he thought he could get away with it. It was going to surface at some point, dealing with other people’s money there at the bank, and I never through the investigation was able to determine what the motivation was of Mr. Shaw to do what he did,” he adds.

Shaw was ordered not to consume alcohol as part of the terms of his probation. Based on the report that was prepared by the probation department, Bonjean says alcohol was believed to be a factor in Shaw’s behavior.

“It’s nice to bring some resolution to the case,” he says.

“I know Mr. Shaw’s case has garnered probably more media scrutiny than your typical case, but it’s really my job to try to treat it as any other case, not give him any breaks because he was a former alderman or not treat him any more harshly because he was a former alderman.”

Shaw briskly walked past media members after his case concluded, and refused to talk to reporters.

Shaw announced he was taking a “personal leave of absence” from City Council after he was arrested in mid-January. The Ward 1 alderman resigned in March and eventually was replaced by Jeff Hopkins.