From the NY Post:
New York state Assemblywoman Vivian Cook allegedly funneled thousands of dollars in public money to a corrupt fellow legislator — and was then rewarded with lavish shopping trips underwritten by taxpayer funds, The Post has learned.
Cook — a 75-year-old Queens Democrat first elected to the Assembly more than two decades ago — helped procure the government money for an organization run by former state Sen. Shirley Huntley, according to several sources.
Huntley, a fellow Queens Democrat, pleaded guilty earlier this week to charges linked to her embezzlement of nearly $90,000 in public money from that organization, known as the Parents Information Network (PIN).
When Huntley appeared in court, she spoke about how her murky arrangement with Cook guaranteed that a pipeline of tax dollars flowed to the nonprofit education charity, with the money later siphoned off to pay personal expenses.
“I have an agreement with a member of the New York state Assembly,” Huntley told a judge.
“This person ensured that state funds would be directed to PIN for what is known as ‘member items,’ ” Huntley explained. “Once PIN received the state funds, I alerted this person, and together we used PIN’s funds for personal shopping.”
Although her name was not mentioned in court, Cook has been identified as the state Assembly member who earmarked the tax dollars for Huntley’s private organization, according to several sources.
And it was Cook who joined Huntley on many of these private shopping excursions, which were financed with the embezzled government funds, according to several sources.