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Former Executive Director of the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank pleads guilty

Delaware Public Media

The former Executive Director of the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank pleads guilty to charges connected to financial improprieties during his time at the bank.

William Freeborn pleaded guilty to official misconduct and theft after confessing he accepted at least $28,000 in unauthorized cash deposits for properties that did not yet belong to the Land Bank.

WNCLB staff and board members contacted Delaware's Department of Justice after recognizing financial irregularities.

The bank works to revitalize and strengthen neighborhoods by returning unusable properties back to productive use.

“If you abuse the public’s trust we will hold you accountable,” said Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings in a statement. “The defendant used a position of public confidence to unethically and illegally secure thousands of dollars for his personal benefit. His acceptance of responsibility will bring closure and compensation to his victims, bans him from managing the public’s money, and requires him to volunteer for the people of Wilmington as part of his probation"

Under his guilty plea, Freeborn restored the misappropriated $28,000 and will do the same for any future claims.

His sentence also includes 50 hours of community service and one year of probation, in addition to a suspended one year prison sentence.

Freeborn also agrees to never again hold a position of control over the finances of any government agency or program, or non-profit.

Additionally, he is barred from having contact with the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank or Wilmington Housing Authority.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021