The unsealed indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York names Councilman Kendall Stewart’s former chief of staff, Asquith Reid, and another staffer, Joycinth “Sue” Anderson.
The charges include conspiracy to commit mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy and witness tampering and center around an organization called the Donna Reid Fund, which has received $356,000 in discretionary funds from the Councilman since April 2005.
Reid and Anderson siphoned off $145,000 for their own benefit. They also used about $18,000 “on a hall used for events for a political club controlled by the Council member and spending more than $3,000 on campaign literature for the Council member,” according to the indictment.
The Department for the Aging initially rejected Stewart’s attempt to fund the group, since its address was the same as his chief of staff’s.
Later, the application was approved. In March 2007, about $140,000 that had been hidden behind fictitious groups in the city budget was transferred to the Donna Reid fund, at the order of the City Council’s finance department.