Rally calls for answers about Assemblyman Ortiz’s aide fraud arrest

Posted: Updated:
SUNSET PARK -

A top aide to state Assemblyman Felix Ortiz is facing federal charges that he stole thousands of dollars in campaign funds.

Residents came together Friday for a rally calling on Ortiz to explain how his employee, Maruf Alam, was able to allegedly steal $80,000.

Alam was arrested and charged with wire fraud for allegedly stealing the money from Ortiz's campaign account, of which he was the treasurer. Authorities say Alam filed fake reports with the state Board of Elections to cover up what was going on.

Investigators say the money was taken between January 2012 and January of this year.

MORE: Aide accused of stealing from Assemblyman Felix Ortiz campaign fund

Residents in Sunset Park say they're upset that this money was mismanaged for so long and are now asking for accountability. Many wanted to meet with the assemblyman Friday, but they were not let inside his office.

The assemblyman released a statement on the allegations saying in part, “I am personally appalled, hurt and disappointed that an employee would violate my trust. My constituents come first, and they deserve to know that public employees are always working on their behalf."

If Alam is found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

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