Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Queens), was sentenced to a year and a day in prison Thursday (May 9), following a trial over fraud allegations. Huntley previously admitted to embezzling $80,000 from a charity she controlled.
Before being sentenced in a New York City court, Huntley begged the judge for mercy. "I am requesting that you give me another chance," she said. "I vow to spend my remaining years to redeem myself in the eyes of those I have embarrassed."
The 74-year-old's prior attempt to prove her newfound loyalty to the justice system started last year, when she fully cooperated with the FBI following a probe that demolished her re-election bid. Court documents reveal that Huntley also secretly recorded fellow elected officials to help the FBI expose more incidents of corruption. "The prosecution of Shirley Huntley ended her political career and devastated her family," her lawyer stated in court paperwork."Despite her downfall, she continues to volunteer in her community as she has done for her entire life."
Brooklyn Federal Judge Jack Weinstein was receptive to Huntley's attempts, but handed down the punishment --which fell short of the 18 month maximum she faced--"because the law expects the highest honesty from elected officials."
Huntley must also payback the money that was stolen. With good behavior the disgraced politician could be released by next February.