New York City

HUNTLEY GOES DOWN: Convicted pol sentenced today

Queens Democrat faces the music at 2 p.m., in Brooklyn federal court

May 9, 2013 By Colleen Long Associated Press
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A 74-year-old former New York State senator who secretly recorded other politicians in a bid for leniency for her role in a corruption scandal faces up to two years in prison after she pleaded guilty to embezzling money.

Shirley Huntley is scheduled to be sentenced today in Brooklyn federal court after pleading guilty to mail fraud conspiracy last winter. The Democrat lawmaker admitted embezzling nearly $88,000 from a state-funded nonprofit she controlled.

Huntley took office in 2007 and lost a re-election bid last year.

“The prosecution of Shirley Huntley ended her political career and devastated her family,” her lawyer wrote in court documents. “Despite her downfall, she continues to volunteer in her community as she has done for her entire life.”

The attorney, Sally Butler, says Huntley will pay back the money and asked the court to consider her years of good works and service. Among that service included meeting with government officials on corruption involving politicians. She recorded conversations with nine Democrats, including state senators, a city council member and two political operatives.

The names were released Wednesday despite objections by federal prosecutors, who said eight were under investigation.

The government revealed last week that Huntley had made the recordings. They said in a court filing that the recordings of three of the eight individuals yielded evidence “useful to law enforcement authorities.”

A paragraph related to the ongoing investigation of the three elected officials remained sealed. Their names were not released.

AP writers Michael Gormley and Michael Virtanen in Albany and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

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