BY ANGELA MATUA
Former Assemblyman William Scarborough pleaded guilty Thursday to federal and state corruption charges, officials said.
Scarborough, who represented the 29th District in southeast Queens for 20 years, was arrested last October for wire fraud and theft concerning a program receiving federal funds.
Scarborough is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 14 in Albany. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud count, up to 10 years in prison on the theft charge and up to $250,000 in fines on each count.
As part of a plea agreement, Scarborough pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the fourth degree and is expected to be sentenced to one year in jail. He also agreed to resign from the Assembly and donate all funds remaining in his campaign account to charity.
Scarborough will also be required to pay $54,355 in restitution to New York State and forfeit that amount to the United States.
Scarborough stole over $40,000 from his Friends of Bill Scarborough campaign account and made unauthorized cash withdrawals and transfers for his own personal use.
He also submitted 174 fraudulent New York State Assembly Travel Vouchers to the Assembly Finance Department from January 2009 through December 2014. These fraudulent vouchers totaled $54,355, money that Scarborough was not entitled to.
“Today Assembly member Scarborough pleaded guilty to crimes that betrayed his constituents and the taxpayers of the State of New York — crimes that will send him to jail under this plea agreement,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “While he will pay the price for his individual crimes, we need to channel public outrage at the ongoing corruption scandals into a movement for comprehensive reform.”
After Scarborough’s resignation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has 90 days to hold a special election in order to fill Scarborough’s seat.
Scarborough joins a long list of south Queens elected officials charged in recent years with committing corruption while in office, including former state Senators Malcolm Smith and Shirley Huntley, former Assemblymen Brian McLaughlin and Anthony Seminerio; and current Councilman Ruben Wills.