MANHATTAN (CN) – A former Brooklyn prosecutor was convicted Monday of bribing police to speed up gun-licensing permits and let domestic abusers keep their firearms.
John Chambers had been with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office for two years when he was charged in 2017 of participating in a five-year bribery scheme with David Villanueva, who had been a sergeant with the New York City Police Department.
The federal indictment accused Chambers of showering Villanueva with tickets to Broadway shows and sporting events, as well as an $8,000 watch, sports memorabilia and cash to grease his own license-expediting business, which operated at the website nygun.com.
“You know I have that 1500 in an envelope in my office for u — so you can pay off the credit card,” Chambers once texted Villanueva, as quoted in the indictment.
Noting that Chambers is transgender, however, defense attorneys reportedly attempted at trial to portray these gifts as merely tokens of appreciation for one of the few male acquaintances to stay by Chambers’ side after his transition.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman applauded the jury’s conviction of 63-year-old Chambers.
“John Chambers, a former prosecutor, called himself a gun license ‘expediter,’” Berman said in a statement. “What a unanimous jury concluded today was that his expediting amounted to little more than bribing his contacts in the NYPD’s License Division.”
Berman said Chambers’ corruption of the gun License Division “exposed the people of New York to unnecessary danger.”