In late August, Democratic State Senator Shirley Huntley called an emergency 11 a.m. press conference at her home in Jamaica, Queens. There, she announced to the crowd that she would be arrested the following Monday by authorities for embezzlement charges regarding a non-profit education group she started called The Parents Workshop.
Now, eight months later, that announcement has come to fruition: Yesterday, Ms. Huntley pleaded guilty to the charges after being indicted for concealing donation documents from “straw donors.” She admitted under oath that she willingly used government grants for her group to buy luxurious items and personal gifts for her family — a revelation similar to the one at the center of the controversy that landed former Bronx City Councilman Larry Seabrook with jail time just a few weeks ago.
As a result, the former State Senator faces two years in prison and must reimburse the taxpayers about $87,000 in stolen funds. Also, she will have to pay back the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey $1,000 for an apparent bribery scheme in which cargo supplies were moved from JFK Airport. Oh, and she’s still facing a sentence in Nassau County Supreme Court because that’s how far this scam spread.
Corruption can really hurt sometimes.