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Mineola rally to support Queens member-item defendants

A prosecution involving state funds returns this week to Mineola. Last month, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli joinly announced indictments of four people in the alleged pocketing of nearly $30,000 from a nonprofit entity. They pleaded not guilty. Member-item funds from State Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) to Parent Workshop Inc. are at issue.

With the accused due Wednesday before Nassau Judge John Kase, Clergy United for Community Empowerment, led by the Rev. Charles Norris Sr., plans to protest the prosecution outside the court at 9 a.m. (Records show his group has received tens of thousands of dollars via Huntley's office for its programs.) Norris has insisted the circumstances do not merit a criminal case.

Huntley has expressed shock at the charges. Hauppauge-based lawyer Phil Solages, representing defendant Patricia Savage of Valley Stream -- a Huntley aide identified as the nonprofit's president -- said: "The outpouring of support from such esteemed members of our community is indicative of the character of my client. It is our position that upon a full examination and accounting of the relevant documents, there will be no finding of criminal culpability."
 

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