A former top domestic policy adviser to President Bush has been arrested for alleged theft of some five thousand dollars' worth of merchandise from two department stores.
Police say Claude Allen, 45, was arrested Thursday in a Washington, D.C. suburb after allegedly collecting refund money for items he had not purchased. Allen's lawyer says his client denies any wrongdoing.
President Bush said Saturday he was shocked by the news. A White House spokesman said Allen had told White House staffers he was being investigated but that it was a misunderstanding.
Allen was appointed the president's top domestic policy adviser early last year. He resigned last month, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Police say they contacted the White House about Allen in January, when they began their investigation.
President Bush had nominated Allen twice for a seat on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, but the Senate did not confirm him.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.