Councilman Ruben Wills arrested on
Stephon Johnson | 5/8/2014, 1:13 p.m.
A Queens-based New York City councilman was arrested on Wednesday in connection to a corruption investigation.
Ruben Wills, under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, was arrested in connection to tens of thousands of dollars in public funds that went missing from a charity run by Wills.
Wills has agreed to surrender the chairmanship of the City Council subcommittee that deals with drug abuse. According to a spokesperson for the councilman, Wills will be prohibited from disbursing city funds to his district in 2014, and the money will be disbursed instead by the speaker’s office and the Queens delegation chair.
Last May, former state Sen. Shirley Huntley was sentenced to more than a year in prison on corruption charges after stealing money from a taxpayer-funded charity she controlled. When Huntley was caught by the FBI, she cooperated with authorities and wore a wire during home conversations with other elected officials, including Wills.
Huntley’s wire conversation allegedly caught state Sen. John Sampson suggesting that she use her political influence to help a Queens businessman expand his lease in exchange for money. Sampson was arrested on two counts of embezzlement, five counts of obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements in an unrelated case amid accusations that he embezzled $440,000 from foreclosure sales of four Brooklyn properties.
Huntley’s wiretapping also recorded conversations with state Sens. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Jose Peralta, Velmanette Montgomery, Malcolm Smith and former state Sen. and current Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Smith was arrested last year and charged with bribery, extortion and mail and wire fraud.