Assemblywoman Pleads Guilty To Misusing Sandy Funds

BROOKLYN (AP) -

A former assemblywoman from Coney Island pleaded guilty Tuesday to using money meant for families displaced by Superstorm Sandy for personal expenses.

Pamela Harris was indicted in January following allegations she pocketed $25,000 in federal funds by falsely claiming the storm chased her from her Coney Island home. Authorities said the Brooklyn Democrat committed other frauds, including cheating the City Council out of discretionary funds meant for nonprofits.

She faces up nearly five years in prison at her sentencing on Sept. 26.

Harris also spent stolen money on airline and cruise tickets for herself and her spouse totaling nearly $10,000. She also made online payments to several retailers and paid her monthly mortgage.

Prosecutors also say Harris convinced others to lie after she became aware of a grand jury probe.

Harris is a former correction officer who was elected in November 2015. She represented Brooklyn communities, including Bay Ridge, Coney Island and Dyker Heights.