A New York state senator was charged Monday with conspiring with a relative and aides to steal taxpayer money via an alleged sham charity, says The New York Times.
Queens Democrat Shirley L. Huntley turned herself in to authorities and pleaded not guilty to felony counts of tampering with evidence and falsifying business records. She joins a string of state and New York City legislators who have come under investigation or been convicted in recent years on suspicion of using allied nonprofit groups for personal gain.
Prosecutors allege Ms. Huntley, 74, created a paper trail to hide the theft of nearly $30,000 by her niece, Lynn H. Smith, and an aide, Patricia D. Savage, from Parents Workshop Inc., an organization for low-income families the senator founded shortly after her election in 2006. Ms. Smith, Ms. Savage, and David R. Gantt, a former Huntley aide who served as a consultant to the charity, were also indicted.
In a statement, Ms. Huntley’s office said she “has been an advocate for parents and children in this community for over 40 years” and suggested the indictment was timed for political purposes. She faces a strong Democratic challenger in next month’s primary.