Perry Pettus, left, is a Hempstead Village trustee, and Richard...

Perry Pettus, left, is a Hempstead Village trustee, and Richard Holland is the deputy police chief. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Nassau County district attorney has asked the Village of Hempstead not to investigate allegations of corruption by a trustee and the deputy police chief — both indicted in November — pending the outcome of the criminal cases against them. 

"In light of these pending criminal cases, I am requesting that the Village of Hempstead refrain from an internal investigation regarding the underlying criminal matters until the matters are resolved," District Attorney Madeline Singas wrote in a Dec. 10 letter to the village. Hempstead Mayor Don Ryan provided a copy of the letter to Newsday. 

Village deputy chief Richard Holland was indicted and charged with one count of bribery in the third degree. Village trustee Perry Pettus was indicted on one count of bribe receiving in the third degree and one count of official misconduct. Singas alleged in the indictment that Holland paid Pettus to vote to appoint Holland as deputy chief. Both men pleaded not guilty.  

A spokesman for Singas confirmed the office had sent the letter but declined to comment on it.

Ryan said in a statement the village is complying with the DA’s request.

“Based on correspondence the Village recently received from the Nassau District Attorney’s office asking us to refrain from any internal investigation concerning these matters, we are currently not taking any further action,” Ryan said in the statement.

In separate cases, Singas' office had indicted Pettus in July and October on charges including four counts of second-degree grand larceny, 12 counts of first-degree falsifying business records and one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree. The DA alleged in part that Pettus had extorted protection payments from local business owners by threatening to drive them out of business, and that he falsified pay stubs to obtain a mortgage for a home. Pettus pleaded not guilty.

A spokesman for Singas' office declined to say whether the request for the village to not investigate is also related to the earlier indictments.

Pettus and Holland remain in their posts in the village government. Pettus' annual salary is $28,560, and Holland received $218,600 in total pay from the village in 2017, Ryan said.

Holland has retained his title of deputy chief, but his responsibilities have been restricted to primarily administrative tasks, Ryan said.

"It was decided that all interests would be best served by assigning him administrative duties," Village Attorney Debra Urbano-DiSalvo said. "We don't have anything but an indictment and he's entitled to the presumption of innocence."

Another Hempstead Village police officer, Randy Stith, was indicted earlier this year for allegedly stealing more than $6,500 from the fire department and falsifying a document to become a police officer. He pleaded not guilty.

The village placed Stith on paid administrative leave after his indictment and later assigned him to administrative duty.

The next court appearance is Jan. 8 in Stith's case and Jan. 17 in Pettus' and Holland's cases, online court records show.

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