After nearly 15 years of delays, City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) will be tried on misdemeanor charges for allegedly breaking into a Chinatown office, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.
Manhattan prosecutors and Wills’s attorneys told a Manhattan Supreme Court judge Friday that both parties could not reach a disposition for the money he owed for the alleged break in and theft in August 1996, said Diem Tran, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan DA’s office.
A trial date was set for Aug. 17, where the councilman will stand trial for petit larceny, criminal mischief and criminal trespass misdemeanor charges, according to the spokeswoman. If convicted of the charges, the councilman, who also is dealing with a separate disposition issue in Nassau County criminal court, faces a maximum of a year in prison.
Wills’s office declined to comment about the court appearance.
Following his initial charge for the crime in September 1996, a judge issued three bench warrants, but the councilman did not respond till this March after the warrants were exposed in a published report.
The criminal complaint said Wills, who used to have a contracting firm during the late ’90s, broke into Inner Circle Communications, a PR firm in Chinatown, and removed a fan and track lighting. Prosecutors contend that he retaliated against the owners of the firm after they terminated his work at the office.