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Appellate court affirms misconduct conviction of ex-Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla

Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla leaves Hempstead District

Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla leaves Hempstead District Court after closing arguments in his misconduct trial on July 17, 2013. Credit: Howard Schnapp

An appellate court has affirmed the 2013 official misconduct conviction of ex-Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, records show.

A Nassau district court judge had found the public servant, then 51, guilty of the misdemeanor, while acquitting him of another official misconduct count, along with coercion and attempted petty larceny.

The judge found Bonilla threatened a male employee with a job transfer if he didn't get him compromising photos of a female employee who had accused Bonilla of sexual harassment.

Bonilla, a Republican, had been town clerk for about a decade and earned $129,500 a year.

The judge sentenced him to 300 hours of community service, a one-year conditional discharge and fines. Bonilla then appealed his conviction.

But in a Sept. 18 decision, the state Supreme Court Appellate Term said: "Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, we find that it was legally sufficient to establish defendant's guilt, beyond a reasonable doubt, of official misconduct."

In a statement Friday, Acting Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said prosecutors brought the case because Bonilla broke the law and violated the trust of his employees and the public who elected him.

"We are grateful for this decision affirming his trial conviction," she added.

Bonilla's attorney couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

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