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November 16, 2012

Ex-Head of Brooklyn Charity Pleads Guilty to Contempt

The longtime director of a social-service network long controlled by a prominent New York State lawmaker admitted in federal court Thursday to misleading investigators looking into the group's finances, reports The New York Times. Christiana Fisher, the former chief executive of the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of criminal contempt and faces up to six months in prison.

Ms. Fisher, 57, acknowledged allowing the Brooklyn charity to give a grand jury inaccurate documents that purported to show the council's board had approved a hefty increase in her pay. She had been involved with the organization since shortly after its incorporation in 1976 by state Assemblyman Vito Lopez but was forced out of her executive position earlier this year.

The council, which provides housing and other services for seniors and low-income residents in Brooklyn, has been under scrutiny by city and federal authorities over its finances, including the rise in Ms. Fisher's salary from $336,000 in 2008 to $782,000 in 2009.