BY JORDAN GIBBONS
For the second time in less than a year, Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) found himself in handcuffs after he was arrested Tuesday morning.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced the indictment of the Councilman for allegedly filing false documents with the City Conflicts of Interest Board.
“Submitting false documents to the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board is a serious crime,” Schneiderman said. “My office’s partnership with the Comptroller is designed to combat corruption in the public sector and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the public trust is not undercut by public servants who are not truthful in their disclosures.”
The indictment charges Wills with five counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. The charges relate to the filing of annual disclosure reports from 2011 to 2013. Wills allegedly failed to disclose certain financial dealings and if he is convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.
“These alleged actions reveal a disdain for honest disclosure,” DiNapoli said. “My partnership with the Attorney General in Operation Public Integrity will continue to expose corruption and hold wrongdoers accountable.”
Last May, Wills was arrested and charged with third-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud, first-degree falsifying business records and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.
His attorneys have been working to remove Schneiderman from the case and have a special prosecutor assigned because they claim the Attorney General’s office released misinformation to tarnish Wills’ name and reputation.
After his first arrest, the Council revoked Wills’ committee chairmanship and his ability to allocate discretionary funds in the budget. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) ensure the community in District 28 get funding.
“The City Council takes these allegations from the Attorney General and Comptroller very seriously and we will be reviewing them,” Mark-Viverito said.
As of press time, Wills’ attorney, Steve Zissou did not return a request for comment.
Reach Jordan Gibbons at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123, firstname.lastname@example.org or @jgibbons2.