(Reuters) – Atlantic Metropolis’s Mayor Frank Gilliam resigned late on Thursday after pleading responsible to 1 rely of wire fraud, and now faces a 20-year jail sentence for stealing about $87,000 from a youth basketball membership, court docket information confirmed.
Gilliam, 49, who has led the resort metropolis on New Jersey’s Atlantic coast since a 2017 election in the neighborhood identified for its casinos and boardwalk, despatched a resignation letter to town clerk’s workplace, media stated.
“It’s with a heavy coronary heart that I tender my resignation as mayor of Atlantic Metropolis efficient instantly,” he wrote within the letter, printed within the Philadelphia Inquirer, amongst others.
“I wish to apologize to the residents of the good metropolis of Atlantic Metropolis who deserve civility and respect. My honest apologies to every constituent that voted for me and had excessive hopes for my tenure.”
His letter got here within the wake of a name from New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy for Gilliam to resign, media stated, including that metropolis council president Marty Small could be sworn into workplace on Friday.
Reuters couldn’t attain Gilliam or his legal professional early on Friday to hunt remark.
Earlier on Thursday, Gilliam pleaded responsible in a New Jersey federal court docket to expenses that he stole funds from AC Starz Basketball Membership, a youth nonprofit membership he helped begin, prosecutors stated.
He used the cash to purchase designer garments, costly meals and journey, they added.
“The thing of this scheme was…to acquire donations from AC Starz contributors underneath the false pretense that these funds could be used for the advantage of a youth basketball group,” they stated in court docket papers.
Gilliam, a Democrat, co-founded the membership in 2011, and started stealing cash in 2013, the paperwork confirmed.
His legal professional, Harry Rimm, advised the court docket Gilliam’s crime was not related to his position as mayor and didn’t contain taxpayer’s cash, the Wall Avenue Journal newspaper stated.
Rimm additionally stated his shopper was remorseful and took duty for his actions, the paper added.
Gilliam faces a attainable 20-year jail time period and is ready to be sentenced on Jan. 7, court docket papers confirmed.
He was additionally ordered to make full restitution, together with the give up of about $41,000 in money seized in a police raid on his dwelling final December.
Reporting by Wealthy McKay; Enhancing by Clarence Fernandez