SOUTH BRONX — A former Bronx councilwoman has been fined for using campaign funds to take borough residents on a trip to a casino, according to the Campaign Finance Board.
Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who represented the 17th City Council District before resigning from her seat at the end of 2015, was hit with $5,735 in fines stemming from her 2013 City Council campaign for violations that included spending money on bus fare to take members of the Borinquen Court Tenants Association to and from a casino, records show.
Borinquen Court is a senior and supportive housing complex located at 285 E. 138th St., which is not in the 17th District.
The Campaign Finance Board also fined Arroyo for inappropriately spending money after the election on tickets for community events and a trip to Puerto Rico for a conference by Somos el Futuro, an organization that aims to help New York State's Hispanic population.
Her 2013 campaign was marred by three campaign workers getting charged with forging almost 100 signatures on her primary ballot petitions as well, including those of celebrities Kate Moss and Derek Jeter.
Arroyo's district included neighborhoods like Hunts Point, Longwood and Port Morris, and it is now represented by Councilman Rafael Salamanca.
She said she resigned from her seat for family reasons then took a job as vice president of administration at the Acacia Network, a housing services company. She could not be reached for comment.
Bronx Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson was also fined by the Campaign Finance Board, which charged her $68,639 for violations stemming from her 2013 City Council campaign.
The Campaign Finance Board hit Gibson with multiple offenses, including accepting contributions that were over the limit, accepting a contribution from an unregistered political committee—the Tobacco Free Kids Action Fund—and inappropriately spending money after the election.
The bulk of her fine came for exceeding the expenditure limit for the primary election by $32,787.26, for which she was fined $65,574, or roughly twice that amount.
Gibson represents the 16th City Council District, which includes the Highbridge and Claremont neighborhoods. Her office did not respond to a request for comment on the violations.