City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) was arrested this morning at the direction of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, according to multiple media reports. He was taken into custody along with a relative, Jelani Mills, who is also one of his staff members, the reports said, and brought to the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills for processing.
It was not clear what the charges are, and the authorities could not immediately be reached for information. But Wills had been under investigation by the AG's office over state funds provided to a nonprofit group he headed before being elected, called New York 4 Life. The money reportedly went missing.
Wills formerly served as an aide to ex-state Sen. Shirley Huntley, who was convicted of stealing from the taxpayers through another nonprofit group and given a prison sentence.
A number of former city and state elected officials have been charged in connection with the misallocation of taxpayer dollars through so-called "discretionary spending," or "member items," earmarks that do not go through the normal legislative process but are given to lawmakers who then disburse them to nonprofit organizations.
During the last City Council session, Wills was stripped of his ability to dole out money to such groups and was removed from a budget negotiation team because he refused to answer investigators' questions about the missing funds. He then won re-election in November.