Updated 08/26/2012 10:15 AM
Expecting Arrest, State Senator Huntley Does Not Back Out Of Race For Re-Election
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State Senator Shirley Huntley warned supporters in Jamaica, Queens on Saturday that she expects to be indicted and arrested on Monday but would not discuss the specific allegations.
Huntley's announcement comes almost nine months after one of her aides was charged with stealing $30,000 earmarked for a non-profit group that Huntley created. Three others were also charged.
Queens State Sen. Shirley Huntley warned supporters at a press conference Saturday that she expects to be indicted and arrested on Monday but would not discuss the specific allegations.
"I just want to say to my constituents that I will be arrested on Monday. I will turn myself in," Huntley said.
"It's my understanding that it's a felony charge, but that's as much as I know," said Sally Butler, Huntley's attorney.
Huntley, who was first elected to the senate in 2006, is in a tough re-election battle and is facing City Councilman James Sanders in a September 13 primary.
In December, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced the indictment of Huntley's aide and the others, saying that they falsely claimed they would use close to $30,000 in taxpayer money for workshops and conduct outreach to parents on the workings of the public school system.
In a statement, a spokesman for Schneiderman said that "The appropriate forum in which to respond to the Senator is a court of law, where the Attorney General will prove all facts according to the rules of evidence. Those facts will speak for themselves."
Butler insisted that Huntley would fight the charges in court.
"I'm not going to give you what my client's reaction was. I think that's for us to deal with once we get to court because she does want her day in court. She wants it, she's going to get it," the attorney said.
Sanders released a statement in response to Huntley's indictment, saying, "In America a person is innocent until proven guilty. However, a culture of corruption has pervaded our state government in Albany."
Huntley and her supporters said that the indictment is not going to slow her campaign down.
"This is not about me, it's about the people I represent and I will continue to fight what I believe in. I am not going to tuck and run," Huntley said.
"It shouldn't stop anything cause I think she's a lady of her word. She has done amazing work in southeast Queens," said Christina Winslow, a Jamaica resident.
Other constituents of Huntley were not so sure about the senator's chances.
"It's about to get interesting. I'm sure it will change the race. I'm sure it will," said Vearlane Edge, a Jamaica resident.