The former city council president in Wilmington, Delaware, is accused of securing a city grant in order to send tens of thousands of dollars to himself and a non-profit that he founded.
On Monday, a grand jury indicted Theopalis Gregory, 67, on charges of profiteering and official misconduct.
In October of 2016, Gregory revived Students Disabilities Advocates, Inc. (SDA), a private entity that he controlled that had been dormant for 18 years, investigators said. Shortly after the 2016 election, Gregory allegedly told his successor, City Council President Hanifa Shabazz, that $40,000 in city grant funds were earmarked for SDA. Investigators accused Gregory of repeatedly pressuring Shabazz while he was still in office to grant the request after she was sworn in.
Gregory also allegedly used the Police Athletic League of Wilmington (PAL-W) as a pass-through for the funds since the SDA lacked non-profit status at the time.
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A day after Gregory left office, PAL-W submitted a grant application that was approved and signed by Shabazz in January of 2017. The grant requested $40,000 for SDA as a pilot program and included in its budget a $20,000 payment to Gregory, investigators said. Gregory also publicly acknowledged receiving at least $15,000 personally, according to officials.
A State Auditor’s report and an independent investigation both determined that Gregory violated several provisions of the Wilmington City Code, which Gregory allegedly admitted to doing while speaking to the Wilmington Ethics Commission in April of 2019.
NBC10 reached out to both Gregory and Shabazz for comment. We have not yet heard back from them.