Queens Councilman Ruben Willis has been taken into custody and charged with taking thousands of dollars in state and city monies for private use. The city money involved is reported to be $16,000.00 of matching campaign funds from Willis's 2009 campaign into a non profit bank account that went for personal purposes. The state monies include more than half of a $33,00.00 grant to the same non profit that were also used for personal purposes. Attorney General Eric Schniderman's office said that instead of going to help the people it was intended for the monies went to enhance Willis's reputation and aid in his election to office.
Willis declared that he is innocent of all charges, and will fight them in court. Willis was elected to the city council in 2010, and was the former chief of staff to ex State Senator Shirley Huntley who was convicted of stealing from a different non profit and was given a one year sentence. The two cases are not related. Willis has since been stripped of the ability to steer any council funding. The full Daily News Article can be found here.