Tag Archives: Parent Workshop

Huntley co-defendants plead guilty, agree to return nearly $30G


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

A week after their former boss, State Senator Shirley Huntley, pleaded guilty to embezzlement cover-up and falsifying evidence, three co-defendants have followed suit.

Huntley pleaded guilty on Wednesday, February 13 after nearly $30,000 in taxpayer dollars went missing; her co-conspirators, Patricia Savage, Lynn Smith and David Gantt, entered their pleas a week later.

Savage and Smith confirmed their roles in an illegal member item theft scheme and a cover-up involving a sham nonprofit group, Parent Workshop, in which they claimed to use funds to hold workshops and conduct outreach to parents about the public school system. Instead, the pair pocketed the money, and there were no workshops. Gantt pleaded guilty to falsifying records claiming that he was paid for conducting these workshops, when he never did so, according to the attorney general’s office.

“There are no excuses for public officials and their associates who game the system to line their pockets, and then engage in a brazen cover up when their crimes are exposed,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman also said that state taxpayers will be fully reimbursed for the stolen money.

Savage and Smith agreed to pay the state of New York the exact amount of money taken. Gantt was not charged with taking any of the funds.

“There is no place in public service for those who enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers,” said Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. “These individuals defrauded the public.”

Savage and Smith are scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday, March 27 and Gantt on Friday, March 29 in Nassau County Supreme Court. If convicted, they will maintain a felony charge on their records and serve five years of probation.

 

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Former State Senator Shirley Huntley pleads guilty to embezzlement cover-up


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo Jeanne Noonan/ for New York Daily News

Former State Senator Shirley Huntley has pleaded guilty to covering up $30,000 in taxpayer-funded services that were never performed.

Huntley, 74, was arrested after turning herself in last August. She was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor for drafting a fake letter to show that a sham nonprofit group, the Parents Information Network, used a $30,000 state grant for “workshops,” according to the Attorney General’s office. She pleaded not guilty, but nearly six months later, on Wednesday, February 13, Huntley came clean.

Funds provided to the Parent Workshop were said to be going to programs at the Beacon Center, but instead were funneled straight to the phony group’s president and treasurer, and Huntley reportedly got a cut.

In her allocution, Huntley said she assisted in drafting a letter to be used to create a false record, indicating that events on behalf of the Parent Workshop had taken place. She additionally knew that the false record would be submitted to the Attorney General’s investigation, according to public court records.

“State officials must be held to the highest standards,” said Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. “Former Senator Huntley betrayed the trust of her constituents and her public duty.”

Prosecutors in the case recommended a sentence of five years probation for the former pol in exchange for her felony guilty plea. Theft and obstruction charges are still pending against her co-defendants, including Patricia Savage, the president of Parent Workshop and her former aide, and Lynn Smith, treasurer of the group and Huntley’s niece.

Sally Butler, Huntley’s attorney, did not wish to comment on the plea, nor did family.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 93. Southwest wind 8 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. West wind 8 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Doctor Zhivago at the Museum of the Moving Image

Take in the 1965 classic at the Museum of the Moving Image.  Based on Boris Pasternak’s novel, this tale of a love triangle set against the Bolshevik Revolution is an astonishing feat, as emotionally involving as it is visually spectacular. Highlights include Freddie Young’s Oscar-winning cinematography and Maurice Jarre’s iconic score.

Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Huntley probe widens

The criminal probe into indicted state Sen. Shirley Huntley has expanded to include every earmark she secured for nonprofits that employed her campaign staffers, Senate aides and family members, The Post has learned. Huntley, a Democrat, is facing up to 12 years in prison for allegedly covering up the misuse of $30,000 in “member item” funds by her niece and an aide to the bogus Parent Workshop charity. Read more: NY Post

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