Now, this here is just embarrassing.
City councilman Ruben Wills boasts an impressive do-gooder resume: founding a basketball league for neighborhood youth, running a nonprofit group to help single mothers.
What he doesn’t mention is that he has two outstanding arrest warrants for pending criminal cases, a Daily News investigation has found.
Or that he’s a deadbeat dad who faces a civil warrant for nonpayment of child support. State tax officials said as of Feb.7, he owed $27,493.
Saturday, Wills admitted he was aware of the two outstanding criminal bench warrants on cases in Manhattan and Long Island that date back several years, and apologized for not addressing them before being elected to serve his district.
“There is no excuse,” he wrote in an email response to the News. “While these events are more than 10 years old, I take full responsibility and I have taken steps to remedy the situation.”
Last fall, Wills, 39, beat out a crowded field to win the office held by the late Thomas White, which represents a large working-class swath of Jamaica, Queens.
On his Council website biography, he says he became an “entrepreneur” at 21, starting “a home contracting business which became a center of opportunity for young adults, the formerly incarcerated, and other at-risk residents of the community to acquire the job skills necessary to escape the vicious cycle of poverty and prison.”
Wills’ home contracting work appears to be where he ran into trouble with the law, a review of court and other records found.
In both cases, law enforcement officials said, Wills could turn himself in and resolve his pending charges. They also point out none of the charges is a felony.
It’s also remarkable that the existence of the arrest warrants has never been discovered before, given that Wills used to work for the state Senate and was the subject of a recent glowing profile in The New York Times.
Yesterday, Wills declined to discuss details of the arrests, instead issuing a statement through his campaign spokeswoman, Lupe Todd.
“These misdemeanor cases stem from business disputes years ago and I am regretful that I did not properly address them when they occurred. This was truly an oversight as it was my belief that these matters had been finalized. Nevertheless this was poor judgment on my part in failing to follow up on the full disposition of these matters.”
Regarding the child support he owes, Todd said the civil warrant regarding the $27,000 refers to back payments Wills is contesting in court. She said Wills has been making regular payments starting with the date paternity was established.
Wills “pays the monthly requirement of approximately $346 plus an additional $250 which goes against the arrears which are currently in litigation,” she said.