Now former Councilman Ruben Wills, who represents the 28th council district was sentenced to 2-6 years in prison today for last month’s conviction on public corruption charges.
Wills was found guilty on five counts related to the theft of approximately $30,000 in public campaign funds and state grant money in July after an 11-day trail.
“New Yorkers deserve elected officials whose priority is the needs of their constituents, not lining their own pockets,”said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “Instead of spending taxpayer money on projects to help his community, Ruben Wills betrayed the public trust by stealing tens of thousands for himself – and he’ll now pay the price.”
In addition to serving 2-6 years in prison, Wills was expelled from the City Council and will pay $11,500 in restitution to the New York City Campaign Finance board and $21,374 to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). He will also pay a $5,000 fine.
State prosecutors argued that Wills used public matching funds from his 2009 campaign to pay $11,500 to Micro Targeting, a shell company purportedly created to translate and distribute campaign literature.
They argued that money was not used for the campaign and instead directed to a non-profit called NY 4 Life, which Wills controlled.
Wills then allegedly withdrew the money and made a series of purchases, including a $750 Louis Vuitton handbag.
Prosecutors also detailed how Wills allegedly used $21,000 in state grant funds for personal and political expenses.
Wills was acquitted on a single charge of filing false business records.