Some may say another “Vanessa Williams” has taken place in Wisconsin. Though she was competing for Miss USA, not Miss America, and there weren't any explicit photos involved, Shaletta Porterfield, a 26-year-old African-American, resigned her Miss Wisconsin USA title on Friday after being charged with identity theft.
"It's unfortunate, but she has a lot going for her, and she's ready to move on," Porterfield’s attorney told a Milwaukee Newspaper.
Last month the now-former title holder was charged with three counts of misappropriating identity information to obtain money. Porterfield told police that she had faked the signatures of three business owners on a contract for advertising with a marketing company where she worked the previous summer. If convicted, Porterfield faces a maximum fine of $10,000 for each of the three counts, or a maximum jail sentence of six years, the Waunakee Tribune reported.
Porterfield would have competed in Las Vegas next month for the crown of Miss USA. If she won, her name would have been added to the list of six other Black women who have ever held the title of Miss USA. The first African-American to win the crown was Carole Gist, who became Miss USA in March 1990.
As Porterfield seeks to resolve identity theft charges, Jordan Marie Morkin will now represent Wisconsin at the Miss USA pageant. She is a resident of Green Bay.