Hol­i­day char­ity leader jailed

Man ac­cused of rip­ping off Christ­mas non­profit faces drug charge. Travis jus­tices of peace keep busy on cen­tury’s last se­quen­tial date.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - Bytony Plo­het­ski tplo­het­ski@states­man.com Con­tact Tony Plo­het­ski at 4453605. Lau­ren Gard­ner and Isaac Duke are among the cou­ples who were wed Wed­nes­day by a Travis County Jus­tice of the Peace. An uptick in wed­dings was at­trib­uted to the 12/12/12 date. JAY

The pres­i­dent of the Christ­mas Bureau of Austin and Travis County was back in jail Wed­nes­day — on crim­i­nal charges un­re­lated to al­le­ga­tions of fi­nan­cial im­pro­pri­eties in­volv­ing the non­profit that has sup­plied Christ­mas presents to needy fam­i­lies.

Shon Washington was booked into the Travis County Jail on charges of fail­ure to iden­tify and pos­ses­sion of a con­trolled sub­stance af­ter a 10:30 a.m. traf­fic stop on Berk­man Drive in East Austin, po­lice spokes­woman Veneza Brem­ner said.

Of­fi­cers stopped Washington af­ter he ran a red light, and he de­clined to pro­vide his iden­tity un­til po­lice pre­pared to use his fin­ger­prints to learn his name, Brem­ner said.

Of­fi­cers searched Washington’s car and found metham­phetamines, po­lice said.

Washington is al­ready un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, ac­cused in a law­suit of il­le­gally so­lic­it­ing char­i­ta­ble do­na­tions and mis­ap­pro­pri­at­ing those funds.

Washington and the Christ­mas Bureau be­came the sub­ject of lo­cal head­lines last month. For more than two decades, the non­profit has helped the Austin Po­lice De­part­ment’s Op­er­a­tion Blue Santa, but Blue Santa of­fi­cials be­came alarmed af­ter they could not reach Washington.

Pub­lic records show Washington has a crim­i­nal his­tory that in­cludes bur­glary and felony forgery. He was charged with misdemeanor theft by check in 2011, ac­cord­ing to court records, and in Au­gust was charged with felony drug charges.

This month, the Texas at­tor­ney gen­eral sued the Christ­mas Bureau, claim­ing it de­frauded donors, and a Travis County judge or­dered the or­ga­ni­za­tion to close.

ByAn­drea Ball

Kyle Fox and Chris­tine Wid­mont’s whirl­wind love story be­gins at a bar in Naperville, Ill.

She was a bar­tender. He was a bouncer. He asked her out. Three months later, Fox spread flow­ers around the house and pro­posed to Wid­mont on bended knee with “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw play­ing in the back­ground. She, still stink­ing of cigarettes and booze from work, said yes.

On Wed­nes­day, two years af­ter their be­trothal, the pair were mar­ried in the of­fices of Precinct 5 Jus­tice of the Peace. It was Dec. 12, 2012, or 12/12/12.

Some now-new­ly­weds might have seen 12/12/12 as way to mark their unique love. For Fox and Wid­mont, both 24, it just hap­pened to be a day they both had off from work. They were, how­ever, de­lighted when some­one pointed out their spe­cial wed­ding date.

“It’s a per­fect date,” Wid­mont said. “I’ll never for­get it; he’ll never for­get it.”

All across the coun­try, num­ber-lov­ing cou­ples headed to chapels and court­houses to tie the knot on the cen­tury’s last se­quen­tial date. Sev­eral Travis County jus­tices of the peace said they def­i­nitely saw an uptick in wed­dings on what would or­di­nar­ily be a slow day for nup­tials. Precinct 1 Jus­tice of the Peace Yvonne Wil­liams planned to hold six wed­dings on a day she might only of­fi­ci­ate one.

“Peo­ple have a thing about num­bers,” she said.

Fox, now a pest con­trol tech­ni­cian, and Wid­mont, and op­tometrist’s as­sis­tant, de­cided to get mar­ried by a jus­tice of the peace be­cause most of their friends and fam­ily live in Chicago. For sim­plic­ity’s sake, they de­cided to make it le­gal in Travis County

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