A former Town of North Hempstead employee has been charged with lying for not disclosing a federal felony conviction when he applied to work for the town.
Edward Lucas, 59, of Great Neck, a full-time parking meter servicer, was fired in February 2013, officials said, giving no reason for the firing. On Thursday, Lucas was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, a felony, according to Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office.
Lucas worked for the town for four years, first as a part-time meter attendant. In a news release, Rice said he filed three separate job applications with the town, in 2009, 2012 and 2013, in which he swore to tell the truth under penalty of perjury. On all three applications, Lucas checked the "no" box to a question of whether he had ever been convicted "of any violation, misdemeanor, or felony" other than traffic offenses.
Rice's office said he failed to disclose a 2005 federal felony conviction. According to court records, Lucas was convicted on charges of mail fraud in which he "participated in a scheme whereby he falsely overbilled clients of Lucas' hand-assembly and third-party mailing company, A.P.A.C. Inc., for postage and other services which were not rendered."
North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said Lucas' case "reinforces the need to do background checks on prospective employees."
Bosworth, who took office on Jan. 1, said the town now performs background checks only on certain employees, depending on the position and amount of responsibility of the hire.
The town contacted the district attorney's Public Corruption Bureau in March 2013, a spokesman for Rice's office said, though he declined to say why. District attorney's office investigators then uncovered Lucas' criminal past.
Lucas faces up to 2 to 4 years in jail if convicted. At his Friday arraignment, Lucas pleaded not guilty. Bail was set at $20,000 bond or $10,000 cash on one count, and $1,000 cash or bond on each of the remaining counts.
He is due back in court Tuesday.
With Scott Eidler