Hempstead Village trustee Perry Pettus, who was indicted last year on state corruption charges, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his legal defense.
The indictment charged that Pettus extorted protection payments from local business owners by threatening to drive them out of business, falsified pay stubs to obtain a mortgage for a home and accepted a bribe from a village police officer. Pettus has pleaded not guilty.
The charges against him include second-degree grand larceny; first-degree falsifying business records; fourth-degree conspiracy; third-degree bribe receiving, and official misconduct, online court records show.
“I am seeking to raise funds in order to pay my legal and investigative fees to defend against charges brought by the Nassau County district attorney's office,” Pettus wrote in the online fundraiser, which was created Dec. 13. “I am extremely grateful for any support.”
The webpage lists the goal of the fundraiser as $100,000. It had not received any donations as of Thursday afternoon.
Scott Druker, a Garden City attorney representing Pettus, confirmed that Pettus created the fundraiser. Druker declined to comment further.
Pettus, who was first elected to the village's board of trustees in 2002, did not respond to a request for comment
His next court date is Jan. 17.