Tag Archives: Richmond Hills

Scarborough pleads guilty on corruption charges

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo


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.


Sanders defeats indicted incumbent Huntley in State Senate primary

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Incumbent State Senator Shirley Huntley, who just a few weeks ago was charged with tampering, falsifying business records and conspiracy, lost her District 10 seat.

Before her arrest, Huntley was already facing a viable challenger in the Democratic primary, Councilmember James Sanders, the September 13 winner.

Early numbers coming in showed Sanders ahead, but the results that Huntley’s campaign got at one point may have given the senator and some of her supporters, who were gathered at Rochdale Village, hope that she was going to keep her seat.

Around 10:30 p.m., loud cheers were heard coming from inside that gathering, which was closed to media.

Shortly after, many of those in attendance came out in a seemingly joyful mood. One, a woman decked out in a “Shirley Huntley for State Senate” T-shirt and button, was chanting, “Sanders needs a job!”

Huntley then came out, only saying that she was tired, and quickly got into a car.

But it was Sanders and his supporters who ended up celebrating a win, not Huntley.

Around 11:45 p.m., Sanders, who also faced off against real estate professional Gian A. Jones, made his victory speech at his election night party in Richmond Hill.

With all the precincts reporting, he won 57.1 percent of the vote, according to numbers released by the New York Times.

Huntley received 39.9 percent and Jones won 3 percent.

Sanders does not have a Republican opponent in the general election, and is now the State Senator-elect.

“We pledge clean government, respectful government. This is not our money. This is the people’s money. We don’t have the right to spend it as we wish,” he said in his victory speech.

On August 28, the day after Huntley’s arrest for allegedly helping to cover up the fraudulent use of state money, Sanders called for Huntley to exit the race.

Pleading not guilty to the charges, Huntley, who has held the seat since 2007, refused to give up her campaign.

Neither Huntley nor her campaign could be reached for comment following her loss.

Along with thanking his campaign staff and those who believed that he could win when everyone said he couldn’t beat an incumbent state senator, Sanders also mentioned in his victory speech what he hoped to do for his community.

Sanders’ chief of staff, Donovan Richards, reportedly wants to run for his boss’ soon to be vacated seat.

“He’s the right pick to replace me in the city council,” said Sanders.