Queens Councilman Named in Wire Probe Says He's Not Under Investigation
JAMAICA — Queens City Councilman Ruben Wills is one of seven elected officials who was recorded on a wiretap worn by former state Sen. Shirley Huntley, court documents revealed Wednesday, but the council member said investigators told him he is not the subject of a probe.
Records unsealed Wednesday named nine individuals recorded by Huntley in 2012 as part of a federal investigation into political corruption. Brooklyn federal prosecutors said eight of those people are targets of active criminal investigations — but Wills said he's the one who isn't being looked at.
"My attorney has been in contact with federal law enforcement authorities and he has been informed that I am NOT the target of any investigation arising from proceedings involving Shirley Huntley," the Queens councilman said in a statement.
"I have personally not been contacted by any law enforcement officials to date and I look forward to continuing the work of the people of southeast Queens that elected me.”
Wills, 41, was elected to the City Council in a special election in 2010, representing the Queens neighborhoods of Jamaica and Richmond Hill.
He had once worked as Huntley's chief of staff, and parts of his district overlap with those of the ex-state senator, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal conspiracy charges. Huntley is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Wills' former neighbors in St. Albans, where he'd lived until moving to his current district in 2010, said they would be shocked if they heard he was involved in any wrongdoing.
"He's very nice," said Gina Nelson, who said she knows his family from the neighborhood.
She said she usually isn't surprised when she hears about politicians being accused of wrongdoing — but she would be surprised if Wills was connected with it.
"It would be shocking for him," she said. "But not for a politician."