United Way of Southeast Mo. executive director pleads guilty to misdemeanor DWI

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 5:50 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 10:20 AM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The executive director of the United Way of Southeast Missouri pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.

Elizabeth Shelton pleaded guilty on December 14.

She was sentenced to a 180-day jail sentence that was suspended and was placed on supervised probation.

In addition, she was ordered to spend two weekends in jail and complete 40 hours of community service, as well as a victim impact program.

According to Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Welker, the original charge was a felony due to prior charges that were listed in a criminal history provided by the arresting agency.

He said the state requested the prior charges on October 18, and had not received them by the preliminary hearing date on Dec. 14.

According to court records, Shelton was involved in a two-vehicle crash along a stretch of North Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau in mid-September.

The arriving officer reported she showed signs of impairment, reportedly falling against her vehicle as she walked and slurring her speech as she talked.

At the police station, that same officer said Shelton refused to fully comply with a breathalyzer test.

A month later, the Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Shelton with felony driving while intoxicated.

The complaint references two prior DWI convictions back in the mid-1990s as contributing factors in the felony charge.

Before that charge came down, Shelton herself filed a petition in court to keep her driver’s license from being revoked. The board president of the United Way got involved in that civil case, writing a letter of support on Shelton’s behalf.

According to Board VP Jay Wolz on Monday, December 20, Shelton remains the executive director of United Way.

We received the following statement on Monday from the United Way of Southeast Missouri Board:

“The UWSEMO board continues to follow every aspect of the legal process, which is not yet complete. Meanwhile, the organization’s work continues without interruption. UWSEMO has not changed organizationally and continues to provide critical support to our community partners and individuals in its Southeast Missouri service region.”

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