Queens Legislator Charged With Misusing Campaign Funds

ALBANY (AP) -
Assemblyman William Scarborough, left, and his attorney on Wednesday leave the federal courthouse in Albany. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Assemblyman William Scarborough, left, and his attorney on Wednesday leave the federal courthouse in Albany. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

A longtime state assemblyman from Queens was charged Wednesday with felony counts of using his campaign funds for personal expenses and filing false claims for travel reimbursements.

William Scarborough, a 68-year-old Democrat, was shackled and wearing a suit when he pleaded not guilty in Albany County Court to charges of grand larceny and filing false campaign documents.

In the afternoon, unshackled, he pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges of theft and wire fraud related to expense claims. He was released after each arraignment.

“In 20 years in office I have never said to any constituent that you have to do something for me in order for me to help you with your problems,” Scarborough said afterward, standing on the federal courthouse steps. “I have never said to anybody that I wanted a quid pro quo for anything.”

Scarborough said he’s at his Albany office more than many downstate lawmakers, working there when the Legislature isn’t in session, and has a higher level of expenditures. He is running unopposed for re-election in November and said nothing has changed as far as his campaign is concerned.