Source: New charge against Mark Bonilla

Town of Hempstead Clerk Mark Bonilla stands outside Town of Hempstead Clerk Mark Bonilla stands outside his office in Hempstead Town Hall. (Sept. 26, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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An additional misdemeanor charge will be filed Thursday against Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, according to a law enforcement source close to the case.

The source declined to identify the new charge.

The superseding complaint also will revise slightly two previously filed misdemeanor charges, the Nassau district attorney's office said Wednesday.

District Attorney Kathleen Rice has said Bonilla asked a deputy Hempstead Town attorney whether he could pay a female subordinate who had accused him of sexual harassment $10,000 to make her complaint "go away."

Rice also has accused Bonilla of fostering a hostile work environment in the clerk's office.

Bonilla originally was charged with three misdemeanors: official misconduct, attempted coercion and petty larceny. The charges will be changed to official misconduct, coercion and attempted petty larceny, which also are misdemeanors, said John Byrne, a spokesman for the district attorney's office.

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The changes reflect errors made by the district attorney's office in a complaint it filed, Byrne said. The updated complaint will not alter the office's case against Bonilla, he said. Bonilla will not need to be arraigned on the revised charges.

"The issue is there was simply a word mix-up," Byrne said.

Bonilla, 50, of Bellmore, pleaded not guilty Saturday to the original charges. He is due in court on Oct. 26 on those charges.

Three women in their 20s have made allegations "of a sexual nature" against Bonilla, according to a law enforcement source.

Rice has called on anyone who might have additional complaints against him to come forward.

Bonilla was charged on Friday and returned to work on Tuesday despite calls from Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and other town officials for his resignation.

He was at work again Wednesday, and has said he plans to work through the week before discussing with his family whether to resign his position.

Town spokesman Mike Deery said Wednesday that town attorney Joseph Ra has determined that removing Bonilla from office would require a town-initiated court action, and not a vote of the town board.

Bonilla's attorney, Adrian DiLuzio of Mineola, said he was unaware of any new charge but added the two revised charges do not change the substance of the case.

He said Bonilla is not guilty of any crimes and is the victim of a political smear campaign.

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"Somebody really hates this guy's guts," DiLuzio said.

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