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The former president of a local labor union pleaded guilty to reduced charges Friday in a check-forgery case.

Richard R. Shelton, 41, of 3501 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls, the former head of Local 8-250 of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, accepted a plea bargain to one count each of third-degree forgery and petit larceny.

Shelton had been indicted on 13 counts of second-degree forgery and one count of third-degree grand larceny.

Prosecutors said that between September 1993 and May 1994, he forged the signature of the union's then-treasurer, Gerald F. Banas, on 13 checks for a total of $3,645, in order to cash them himself.

Niagara County Judge Amy J. Fricano accepted the plea and will sentence Shelton Dec. 19.

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