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Hawthorne Councilwoman Admits to Disability Fraud

January 20, 2010

A 56-year-old Hawthorne councilwoman has admitted to defrauding the government by collecting up to $17,000 in payments for disability benefits from 2007-2009, reports said.

Councilwoman Shirley J. Shortway-English resigned after admitting to theft Wednesday in a hearing conducted by U.S. District Judge William H. Walls. She was elected in November for her second term in office.

Shortway-English reportedly filed for disability benefits claiming that her back pains prevented her from working but after six years, she was working at their family restaurant in Hawthorne while receiving benefits.

Her attorney, Joseph Afflito, will be seeking a probationary term to avoid being held in prison for up to six months. She is released on a $25,000 bond pending sentencing in April.

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