City Board of Elections President Jose Miguel Araujo put his wife on the payroll so their family could get health insurance, but the move may not have been a benefit now that city attorneys are involved.
The city Conflicts of Interest Board announced last week it levied its maximum fine of $10,000 against Araujo, Queens’ Democratic BOE commissioner, and issued a $1,500 penalty against a Queens borough manager who also breached city law by hiring a relative.
Araujo admitted he employed his wife, Rita Araujo, as a temporary clerk in the Queens BOE office for more than 2 1/2 years in a signed disposition.
“I hired my wife so that she could obtain health insurance for our family under the city’s health benefits program,” the document read. “Rita was employed by the BOE from approximately Feb. 21, 2010 to Oct. 11, 2012, during which time she was enrolled in a city health benefits program.”
Araujo, who lives in East Elmhurst and works as an attorney at Renfroe, Driscoll & Foster, LLP, said he terminated his wife when his commissioner position was up for renewal and officials told him he needed a waiver to employ her, according to the disposition.
Araujo did not return calls for comment.
He was named Queens’ Democratic BOE commissioner in 2008 and reappointed twice. His fellow commissioners voted him president in July 2014.