The mayor of Atlantic City, New Jersey admitted in federal court on Thursday that he stole $87,000 from a youth basketball team he founded. Mayor Frank Gillam Jr. told the judge he stole funds raised from donors in Atlantic City and Philadelphia for the Atlantic City Starz for personal expenses between 2013 and 2018. He was elected mayor in 2017 after serving as a City Councilman.
He was released after posting a $100,000 bond with the court, but New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and other elected officials quickly called for him to resign. Plans were already being made for the City Council president to assume Gillam’s position.
Gillam, 49, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted in his trial, which is set for Jan. 7. According to prosecutors, Gillam used the money for personal expenses such as luxury clothing, expensive meals and trips. He had solicited the donations using his political office under the false pretense they were for the youth basketball team or for school supplies for underprivileged children.