Political corruption is something that unfortunately for many isn’t the least bit surprising when we hear about it. Given how hard it’s been though for Black people to rise in politics since the end of slavery, it always hurts when the perpetrator happens to be one of our own.
Ex-State Supreme Court Justice Sylvia Ash is a sister that sadly got caught up in a recent investigation of the Municipal Credit Union that resulted in her being sentenced to 15 months in prison on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making a false statement to a federal agent.
64-year-old Ash, a native of Trinidad, was sentenced by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in Manhattan on Wednesday (April 20) for obstructing a probe into the aforementioned credit union for financial wrongdoing while servicing tens of thousands of New York City employees, including police and firefighters. Kaplan says Ash lost “one of the most important judicial positions in the state” by exhibiting actions that were “dishonest, corrupt and frankly outrageous.”
It appears Ash is guilty of spending months trying to thwart the investigation into the Municipal Credit Union due to her position on its board of directors from May 2008 to August 2016, even becoming chairman in 2015. She was found guilty of collecting tens of thousands of dollars in reimbursements from the credit union, in addition to other benefits that included airfare, hotels, entertainment and even annual birthday parties at a minor league baseball stadium amongst other luxuries.
More on the investigation that landed a Supreme Court Justice behind bars, via AP News:
“‘These crimes struck at the heart of the criminal justice system,’ Kaplan said of a judge who stepped down from her judicial position only last month.
The judge said Ash, born in London, impressively rose from modest origins to ‘one of the most important judicial positions in the state.’
‘But you lost it all,’ he said, citing her ‘dishonest, corrupt and frankly outrageous actions.’
Before the sentence was announced, Ash said she felt ‘remorse, shame and embarrassment’ after she ‘disappointed so many.’
She said she had ‘achieved the American dream’ before the crimes ‘ruined my life.’
Ash was required as a sitting state judge to report gifts and benefits from outside sources on an annual state disclosure form. She failed to do that for any of what she received between 2012 and 2018, instead choosing to protect the financial crimes carried out by the the credit union’s now-imprisoned former chief executive.
Remember this folks: it may get your pockets fat in the moment, but crime never pays in the long run!
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