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Sentencing of former Hempstead councilman delayed

Edward Ambrosino served as a Hempstead Town councilman.

Edward Ambrosino served as a Hempstead Town councilman. Credit: James Carbone

A U.S. District Court Judge in Central Islip has delayed the sentencing of former Hempstead Town Councilman Edward Ambrosino on a tax evasion charge until after the Nov. 5 elections, following a request to do so by Ambrosino’s attorney.

In a Sept. 27 letter to Judge Joanna Seybert, James Druker, Ambrosino’s Garden City attorney, asked that the Oct. 18 sentencing be postponed because of a personal obligation of his client that weekend, a time-consuming trial of Druker’s in Brooklyn and “an election on November 5th that we are concerned will be influenced by the publicity that will likely attend my client’s sentencing.”
Seybert on Oct. 1 adjourned the sentencing until Nov. 15, court records show.

Ambrosino pleaded guilty in April to a single count of tax evasion on his personal federal income tax as part of a plea deal, in which he agreed to repay $250,000 in back federal taxes. He was charged in April 2017 with what prosecutors said was a complex scheme in which he siphoned off money that his law firm was entitled to.

He resigned from his seat on the Hempstead Town Board in April.

Druker said in an interview Ambrosino requested the adjournment because he “didn’t want to be a pawn” in any ongoing campaigns.

“He just didn’t want people talking about corruption and trying to tie him in and use his name,” Druker said.

First-term Democratic Supervisor Laura Gillen has made fighting alleged corruption central to her re-election campaign. A video featured on the Friends of Laura Gillen Facebook page includes a photograph of Ambrosino, a Republican, alongside local Republican officials who have been convicted on corruption charges.

Druker said Ambrosino did not request the adjournment specifically in response to Gillen’s re-election campaign.

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