Roger Corbin found guilty of bribe receiving

A Nassau jury returns a partial verdict for former county Legis. Roger Corbin, finding him guilty of bribe receiving and official misconduct in a "pay-to-play" scheme involving a redevelopment project in New Cassel. Corbin was found not guilty of defrauding the government, falsifying business records and another count of official misconduct. Jurors continue to deliberate on several other charges against him and two former officials. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser (July 17, 2012)

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Jurors in the New Cassel corruption trial of three public officials returned a partial verdict Tuesday, finding former Nassau Legis. Roger Corbin guilty of bribe receiving and official misconduct.

The jury also found the former head of North Hempstead Town's Community Development Agency, Neville Mullings, guilty of official misconduct.

Corbin was found not guilty of defrauding the government, falsifying business records and another count of official misconduct, while Mullings was found not guilty of defrauding the government, falsifying business records and two additional counts of official misconduct.

Former Nassau Legis. Patrick Williams was found not guilty of two counts of grand larceny.

Attorneys for the three men offered no comment as they left Nassau County Court Tuesday afternoon.

The assistant district attorney in the case, Teresa Corrigan, also declined to comment.

After the jurors returned the partial verdict, they retired to continue their deliberations for another hour on the remaining 16 charges against Mullings, eight charges against Corbin and five charges against Williams.

The trial centered around allegations that the three had schemed to steer a redevelopment project in New Cassel to a developer willing to "pay to play," sell fake exclusive rights to a bank and steal $150,000 in public funds.

Corbin, Williams, Mullings and a fourth man, former North Hempstead Town building and planning Commissioner David Wasserman, were indicted in 2010 with steering a redevelopment project in New Cassel to developer Ranjan Batheja in exchange for $400,000 in bribes and other payments.

All charges against Wasserman were dismissed June 13.

In Tuesday's verdict, Corbin was convicted of receiving more than $200,000 from Batheja in bribes, and was convicted of official misconduct after he called the Bank of New York as a legislator to lobby it to allow Batheja to continue his project. The bank was foreclosing on Batheja's loan at the time.

Mullings' conviction stemmed from a private meeting at which he offered to steer the community development agency's board to vote for a developer.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Alan Honorof said he wanted to hear the partial verdict before a lengthy break in deliberations necessitated by several jurors, despite concerns from the three defense attorneys.

Honorof said in court that he was concerned that something could happen to prevent one or more jurors from returning to deliberate after the planned 10-day break scheduled to begin Thursday.

Only one alternate juror remains from the original pool of five since the trial began in February.

"We have the opportunity to, without a mistrial, get a verdict on 12 of these counts," Honorof said before the partial verdict.

"If there is subsequently a mistrial, there are 12 fewer counts for the people to prove and for the defense to defend."

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