Former Common Council Member Admits to Stealing Taxpayer Money

May 29, 2012 Updated May 29, 2012 at 7:53 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

May 29, 2012 Updated May 29, 2012 at 7:53 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -Former Ellicott District Common Council Member Brian Davis admitted to stealing more than $48,000 for his own personal use in Federal Court Tuesday, instead of using the money to improve and enrich his district. United States Attorney William Hochul says over a course of 3 years, Davis diverted the cash by dipping into Buffalo's discretionary funds. Each fiscal year, common council members are given close to $100,000 to enhance their district. Hochul says Davis though was distributing those funds to 3 local organizations, telling them where to spend it, and in turn, diverting it back into his wallet.

"In some instances, checks were being written to Ellicott Fun Days and it appears to be a legit organization but it doesn't exist," said Assistant United States Attorney Russell Ippolito. "Davis would take that check and put it into his account. There were a few checks written directly to Mr. Davis and he justified it as though the funds were being spend on Ellicott Dun Days or other events."

Davis served on the council from 2006 until his resignation in 2009 after he admitted to misusing campaign funds in a separate case. Davis faces up to 10 years in jail for his guilty plea. He will be sentenced in September. The former council member is also cooperating with federal agents to provide them with information on other possible corruption cases.