As most of the local political world gathers in Albany for today’s special session, the attorney general’s office and the comptroller’s office announced the indictment of four staffers in State Senator Shirley Huntley’s office for stealing taxpayer funds intended for a bogus non-profit.
“This personal profit-making scheme defrauded taxpayers, all the while depriving communities of much-needed funds. Now it’s time to hold those behind it accountable,” said attorney general Eric Schneiderman. “The charges announced today send a strong message that those who abuse their positions to rip off taxpayers will be prosecuted.”
According to Mr. Schneiderman and comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a nonprofit set up by Ms Huntley,a Queens Democrat, funneled member item funds to those associated with it, including Patricia D. Savage, a Huntley aide, and Lynn H. Smith, who is described as “an individual who shares a residence with the senator.”
According to the indictment, the duo are the president and treasurer of the Parent Workshop, Inc., submitted fraudulent documents to New York State to obtain public money from a legislative member item. Instead of providing the promised programs, the two defendants pocketed approximately $29,950. Two additional defendants were charged with falsifying documents to cover up the theft once the investigation commenced.
“Taking money intended for families in need is unconscionable,” said Mr. DiNapoli. “Abuse and fraud will not be tolerated.”