Jury selection to begin in corruption trial

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Jury selection is expected to begin Monday in the corruption trial of four men, including two former Nassau County legislators, accused of steering New Cassel revitalization work to a developer in exchange for $400,000 in bribes.

The trial before acting Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Alan Honorof is expected to last months.

Former legislators Patrick Williams, 63, of Uniondale, and Roger Corbin, 65, of Westbury; North Hempstead's former Community Development Agency director Neville Mullings, 70, of Westbury and the town's former building and planning commissioner, David Wasserman, 53, of Roslyn Heights, were arrested in July 2010 after a three-year investigation by District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

They were charged with grand larceny and falsifying business records. Charges of defrauding the government, conspiracy, official misconduct and receiving bribes were also leveled against some of the men.

"These defendants put portions of the New Cassel community up for sale for their own financial gain," a release announcing the arrests said. The district attorney's office did not return calls for information about the case.

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Mullings' attorney, Frederick Brewington of Hempstead, declined to comment, as did Wasserman's attorney, Joel Weiss, of Uniondale. Attorneys for the other two men could not be reached.

Rice at the time said the quartet eased the way for developer Ranjan Batheja through the bidding process to win work as part of the $80 million New Cassel Revitalization Project. In turn, the men demanded kickbacks from Batheja. Five months before the four were indicted, Batheja was arrested and charged with bribery. It is unclear how his case is proceeding.

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