A Muslim Pennsylvania state lawmaker has been charged for allegedly stealing half a million dollars from a charity she founded.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement Thursday that Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell (D) had been charged with numerous charges of theft, perjury, and tampering.
Johnson-Harrell had previously made headlines for being offended by a Christian prayer offered before a session of the Pennsylvania Legislature in March.
Shapiro said that she had stolen money from Motivations Education & Consultation Associates, or MECA, a charity meant to collect donations to help the homeless, seniors and children.
He alleged that she spent the money on "vacations, designer clothing, luxury car payments, real estate purchases, past-due mortgage payments, and other personal expenses."
Shapiro said in the statement that she had turned herself in, had confessed to the crimes, and had agreed to leave the Pennsylvania Legislature.
"Her theft knew no bounds," he said.
Later, in a statement released through her lawyers to the Associated Press, she said she disputed some the charges.
"I am saddened and dismayed by the nature of the allegations brought against me today," Johnson-Harrell said.
"I vigorously dispute many of these allegations, which generally pertain to before I took office and I intend to accept responsibility for any actions that were inappropriate," she added.
Johnson-Harrell had founded MECA in 2006.
She had been the first Muslim representative elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature.
Here's a local news video about the charges:
Pennsylvania State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell Accused Of Stealing $500,000 From Charity www.youtube.com