Frank Nocerino in a photo from 2017.  

Frank Nocerino in a photo from 2017.   Credit: Howard Schnapp

Frank Nocerino, the former Town of Oyster Bay parks commissioner who was acquitted last year on a corruption charge, faces new charges in connection with his acquisition of a handicapped parking permit, according to court documents. 

Nocerino, 67, of North Bay Avenue in North Massapequa, was arraigned Friday on six felony counts of possession of a forged instrument, second-degree forgery, fourth-degree corrupting the government and unlawful use of a credit card in what authorities called an "ongoing scheme to intentionally defraud" the Nassau County Office of the Physically Challenged, according to the criminal complaint. 

Nocerino, who is a commissioner of the North Massapequa Fire Department, was "in possession of one of these fraudulently issued" placards when he was arrested Thursday night, the complaint said. Nocerino was held in police custody overnight and pleaded not guilty at his Friday morning arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead. He was released without bail. 

"Much like my client was not guilty in the Town of Oyster Bay case, he's not guilty in this case as well," said his Mineola-based attorney Christopher Devane. "We will vigorously defend this case."

According to the complaint, Nocerino submitted applications for a handicapped parking permit six times beginning in May 2017 through late 2019. The permits have to be renewed every six months, Devane said. 

The applications contained a physician's signature that wasn't authorized, according to the complaint. "The witness did not complete the applications nor did he authorize anyone to affix his signature or physician's license number to these applications," the complaint said.

Devane said his client has medical issues that have been assessed by a doctor — disc damage and sciatica — and has undergone three epidurals for pain, which support his handicapped placard applications. 

"He's suffering with severe pain and that has continued," Devane said. 

Devane also criticized the nighttime arrest of his client, saying it appeared to be "sour grapes" on the part of law enforcement because his client beat the previous charge against him. Devane represented Nocerino last year when he was acquitted in a bench trial in Nassau County Court on a single count of official misconduct in connection with the reinstatement of a part-time worker accused of drawing a swastika at a Farmingdale park. Nassau County police arrested Nocerino in his new case. 

"Why does a 67-year-old man have to spend the night in jail over a discrepancy in a handicapped parking application?" Devane said. "It's really absurd."

A police department spokesman had no immediate comment on Devane's criticism. A spokesman for the district attorney's office declined to comment. 

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