Nassau County’s former deputy commissioner of emergency management pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Monday, ending his felony trial after accusations that he won promotions after repeatedly lying on job applications by saying he didn’t have any criminal convictions.
A prosecutor from the Nassau district attorney’s public corruption bureau said while agreeing to a plea deal for Edward Korona Jr., 54, of Hicksville, that the longtime county official had met with her office multiple times and provided “fruitful” information.
“The people make this offer in light of the defendant’s cooperation with the district attorney’s office,” Assistant District Attorney Lauren McDonough said. “. . . The information that the defendant has provided us has been fruitful in terms of cooperation as well as additional avenues to explore for both our office and our law enforcement partners.”
State records show Korona, a former Hicksville fire chief, went to prison in 1982 after convictions for burglary and attempted burglary.
State Supreme Court Justice Robert McDonald said he would sentence Korona to no more than three years of probation at his Jan. 9 court date. McDonald also said he would consider the prosecution’s tentative recommendation that Korona get a more lenient, one-year conditional discharge, meaning he would serve no time behind bars if he didn’t get in trouble with the law for a year.
The prosecution will make a final sentence recommendation after continuing talks with Korona, McDonough said.
After his October 2015 arrest, Korona had pleaded not guilty to a 12-count felony indictment that charged him with four counts each of perjury, offering a false instrument for filing and making an apparently false sworn statement. He had faced up to four years in prison on the top count before admitting Monday to a lower-level charge of offering a false instrument for filing.
Prosecutors had alleged Korona lied about his criminal history while applying four times for Nassau civil service jobs between 2007 and 2013. He admitted Monday he knew he had a felony conviction but wasn’t truthful about it when he filled out a civil service form in 2013.
Korona ignored a question and his attorney, Joseph Lobosco of Garden City, declined to comment as they left a Mineola courtroom Monday. Prosecutors also didn’t comment.
In February 2015, County Executive Edward Mangano had appointed Korona to the $120,000-a-year deputy commissioner role. But the 29-year county employee reverted to his $76,000-a-year civil service machine supervisor position shortly after his arrest, with the county attorney’s office saying Korona was entitled under law to stay in the non-appointed job “unless adjudicated otherwise.”
County Attorney Carnell Foskey said in a prepared statement Monday evening, in response to a question about Korona’s current job status, that his office was “researching this matter and cannot comment at this time.”