Mark Bonilla visits Hempstead Town Hall Sunday
Hempstead Town Clerk Mark A. Bonilla briefly visited the government offices Sunday amid a renewed call for his resignation.
A Facebook page under his name stated that "the truth will come out" in the criminal misconduct case against him.
Bonilla left his Bellmore home with his wife and children about noon Sunday and drove to Town Hall, where he was let into the building by a security guard. Bonilla left soon afterward without anything noticeable in his hand, the guard said.
Town spokesman Michael Deery did not respond to questions about what Bonilla, a Republican, was doing at the municipal offices.
Town Supervisor Kate Murray Sunday reiterated her request that Bonilla resign immediately. Murray, a Republican, first called for his resignation Saturday in a news conference with five of the six town board members. Bonilla, 50, has been town clerk for nine years. He supervises about 125 employees and is paid $129,500 annually.
Bonilla on Saturday pleaded not guilty to three misdemeanor charges related to allegations he tried to obtain "intimate and personal photographs" of a female subordinate who had accused him of sexual harassment, according to the criminal complaint. Law enforcement sources said Bonilla attempted to get the photos of the woman to discredit or silence her accusations.
Bonilla is charged with official misconduct, second-degree attempted coercion and petty larceny. The coercion charge stems from alleged threats he made to transfer employee Alex Desidoro, 21, in August, if he did not hand over the photos. The criminal complaint did not detail the larceny charge.
Bonilla also faces complaints from two other people, Murray said, without providing details.
Town lawyers are researching ways to remove Bonilla from office if he doesn't resign, Hempstead Town attorney Joseph J. Ra said Saturday. If Bonilla does resign, the town board would appoint a new clerk to fill out the term, which runs through 2013.
Dozens of supporters posted messages of encouragement on Bonilla's Facebook page. Responses from his account thanked Bonilla's supporters and said no town board members "ever asked me what actually happened."
Board members did not respond to calls and emails for comment Sunday.
Bonilla refused to answer questions outside his home Sunday, and a woman who answered the door earlier in the day also would not comment.
A Bonilla supporter posting on the clerk's Facebook page said he was "innocent until proven guilty." The responses from his account noted that "party politics is ugly but I'm a fighter and will fight to the end."
With Patrick Whittle
and Ann Givens