THE BRONX - The top financial officer for a Bronx charity started by state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. has been accused of stealing $75,000 from the organization.

According to state prosecutors, Clement Gardner managed funds for the Christian Community Benevolent Association near Crotona Park. The indictment against him says Gardner transferred the stolen money from the charity to himself over a three-year period.

Officials say a large chunk of the funds came from taxpayer dollars meant to help Bronx children and senior citizens.

In a statement, Sen. Diaz denied any connection to the crime or any wrongdoing.