[quote]Last week, that life and discipline appeared to have frayed when Mr. Allen, the president’s former domestic policy adviser, was arrested in suburban Maryland and charged with stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise from Target and other stores in a scheme to fake returns.
Through his lawyer, Mr. Allen denied the charges, saying there was a mix-up concerning his credit card. Maryland authorities charged Mr. Allen, 45, last Thursday with trying at least 25 times over the last five months to return and collect refunds for goods he never purchased, including a home theater system, clothes and items worth as little as $2.50.
The arrest was a puzzling turn in a career that had been on a straight climb. After coming to Washington as a staff member for Jesse Helms, the former Republican senator from North Carolina, he became a prot