The position of embattled City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) became even more tenuous last week when his co-defendant in a corruption case brought by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and accused the councilman of hatching an elaborate scheme to steal campaign funds for personal use.
Jelani Mills said under oath that he assisted Wills in an alleged plot to take $11,500 in campaign funds between June 2009 and April 2010. The agreement with Schneiderman’s office was signed one day after Mills allegedly skipped out on a court date.
It also let Mills avoid a prison sentence by allowing him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of second-degree falsifying business records, with four more serious charges from his original indictment dropped.
Mills was originally charged with one count of third-degree larceny and three counts of first-degree falsifying business records when they were arrested.
The agreement stipulates that Mills will be sentenced to one year of probation and 10 days of community service. He could have faced up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine for the one remaining charge.
Schneiderman’s office declined to comment on the agreement, and no sentencing date was yet available.
The state also alleges that some of the campaign money was directed to NY 4 Life, a nonprofit concern that Wills allegedly controlled.