Shirley Huntley Gets a Year in Jail for Embezzlement Scheme

Shirley Huntley. (Photo: WIkimedia)

Shirley Huntley. (Photo: WIkimedia)

Former State Senator Shirley Huntley, who pleaded guilty in February to falsifying evidence and attempting to cover up her embezzle efforts, was sentenced in court today to a year and a day in jail. In addition, she will have to pay $87,700 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“The crux of this case has always been the defendant Shirley Huntley’s greed and self-interest,” United States Attorney Loretta Lynch announced in a statement. “Promising to provide much needed assistance to the parents of New York City public schoolchildren, … Shirley Huntley violated the public trust and betrayed her constituents by stealing public funds for her own benefit.”

Ms. Lynch added, “Today’s sentence should send a clear message: we will bring to justice those who corrupt the system of laws upon which our community relies.”

Ms. Huntley’s sentencing was made more notable by the documents that were released alongside it, including yesterday’s letter detailing her cooperation with authorities, secretly recording colleagues in an attempt to lessen her sentence. Sudden revelations emerged that a small slew of her fellow lawmakers were also under investigation.

Among the names in Ms. Huntley’s sentencing letter were State Senators Malcolm Smith and John Sampson, both of whom have been charged in their own schemes in recent weeks. They are but a drop in the bucket of an increasingly extensive list of New York lawmakers accused of wrongdoing  in recent weeks, months and years–earning the Empire State’s government a more dubious reputation with each arrest.

Mr. Smith and Mr. Sampson have maintained their innocence–as have Councilman Dan Halloran, Assemblyman William Boyland and Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, all currently facing charges.

Ms. Huntley, 74, was first elected to the State Senate in 2007  by defeating another troubled senator, Ada Smith, who, among other things, was convicted of throwing hot coffee on a staffer who commented on her weight. Shirley Huntley Gets a Year in Jail for Embezzlement Scheme