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Manhattan judge delays Ruben Wills’ larceny trial

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The misdemeanor trial for City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) has been postponed, the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced Tuesday.

The long-awaited trial for petit larceny, criminal trespass and criminal mischief charges was supposed to have begun Wednesday in Manhattan Criminal Court, but the judge in the case said it would be postponed to an unspecified date, according to a spokeswoman for the DA’s office.

Wills declined to comment about the case and the new date was scheduled to be announced at a hearing this Wednesday, the spokeswoman said.

The case came about after it was revealed in a published report that Wills had outstanding bench warrants for the charges that date back to 1996, when he was initially charged.

On Aug. 14, 1996, Wills, who was 25 at the time and running a contracting business, broke into a PR firm in Chinatown, damaged a wall and removed fan and track lighting from the offices, the criminal complaint said. Prosecutors contend that Wills was retaliating against the owners of Inner Circle Communications after they fired him for a job they hired him for.´╗┐

Wills is also dealing with a deposition´╗┐ matter in Nassau County Criminal Court for misdemeanor charges involving an unlicensed permit for construction.

Despite months of court appearances to try and settle the matter and pay the firm’s owners restitution, Wills and his attorneys could not come to a resolution and a judge scheduled the trial, prosecutors said.

The councilman is facing re-election this fall in a special election that will determine who will fill out rest of the four-year term of Thomas White, who died last year.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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