Queens City Councilman Ruben Wills is the latest elected official to stand trial on corruption charges. In laying out their case Wednesday, prosecutors said he pocketed thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to use on clothing, meals, and even construction supplies. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Even before he was first elected to the City Council, Ruben Wills had already begun a scheme to defraud taxpayers, prosecutors said, stealing $19,000 in state grant money awarded to his Queens non-profit, and $11,500 in public campaign finance funds.
At opening arguments Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Travis Hill said that for Wills, "stealing taxpayer funds was business as usual."
The trial is now finally underway after numerous delays, including Wills missing court appearances with an undisclosed illness.
He faces up to seven years in prison on six charges, including fraud and grand larceny, all of which he is vigorously contesting.