Former City Councilman Ruben Wills is considering a return to politics after his 2017 fraud and larceny conviction was overturned.
“Me being out again has felt really good,” Wills said in a recent interview with PIX11 News.
Born in NYCHA’s South Jamaica Houses, Wills grew up to become the City Councilman representing Southeast Queens.
“Numerous bills were passed, the synthetic marijuana legislation, we were actually dealing with that in 2011,” Wills said.
Just as Wills was gaining momentum within City Hall, in 2014 his world came crashing down. The lawmaker was arrested.
Then Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wills used $30,000 in public funds to finance designer shopping sprees.
“Facts speak for themselves,” Schneiderman said at the time. “I think stealing money that’s supposed to go and help poor children and families is pretty despicable.”
Wills was still a sitting councilman when he was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to up to 6 years in state prison.
Much of his sentence was spent in Marcy Correctional Facility. Wills said he learned firsthand about the agony of solitary confinement.
After two years in prison, Wills returned to Queens in 2019 determined to clear his name. Last September, an appeals court overturned his 2017 conviction, ruling Wills was deprived of his right to present witnesses of his own choosing.
Wills still believes, “absolutely I was a political target.”
He’s now taking the steps to qualify for the June Democratic primary for his former City Council seat. He expects to make his final decision with the next week, saying his work inside City Hall isn’t done yet. He wants to continue his work on “criminal justice reform, economic development reform and all that entails, and education reform.”