Queens State Senator Charged in Corruption Investigation

Published: August 27, 2012

Queens State Sen. Shirley Huntley was charged Monday with trying to cover-up the theft of taxpayer money she steered to a non-profit she founded.

MINEOLA, N.Y. — Shirley L. Huntley, a Democratic state senator from Queens, was accused by prosecutors on Monday of taking part in a scheme involving the misuse of money intended for a nonprofit group that was supposed to help guide parents through the New York City school system.

The charges against Ms. Huntley, who surrendered at the Nassau County court complex in Mineola, included tampering with evidence, conspiracy in the fifth degree and falsifying business records. The charges were filed by Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, who was scheduled to hold a news conference on Monday afternoon to provide more details.

Ms. Huntley did not speak to reporters after she was charged, and she was surrounded by supporters who kept journalists from getting too close to her.

Her lawyer, Sally Butler, said Ms. Huntley “is not charged with stealing money or being involved in any theft of any taxpayer money.”

Three other people who had been charged previously as part of the same investigation were also charged on Monday as part of a superseding indictment involving the stealing of taxpayer money that was supposed to go to the Parent Workshop, a nonprofit group founded by Ms. Huntley. The others charged were Patricia D. Savage and Lynn H. Smith, two officers of the Parent Workshop, and David R. Gantt, who had ties to the organization.

The case is being tried in Nassau County because the nonprofit lists a Nassau County address as its corporate address.

In an unusual move, Ms. Huntley held a news conference on Saturday outside her home in Jamaica to say that she expected to be arrested as part of a continuing corruption investigation, but that she did not know precisely what she was to be accused of doing.

Ms. Huntley, 74, is a low-key figure in Albany. A former community school board president, she was first elected to the Senate in 2006.


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