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Hempstead Town ex-Clerk Mark Bonilla's jail sentence expected Thursday

Town of Hempstead Clerk Mark Bonilla leaves Hempstead

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

Former Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, convicted of official misconduct in July, will be sentenced Thursday at First District Court in Hempstead.

Bonilla's trial, which also resulted in his removal from office, focuses on allegations that he tried to obtain intimate photos of a female worker who accused him of sexual harassment.

A judge found Bonilla guilty of misconduct when he threatened another employee, Alex Desidoro, with a job transfer if Desidoro didn't produce the photos of the complainant, with whom Desidoro had been in a relationship.

The judge found Bonilla not guilty of three other charges -- another count of official misconduct, coercion, and attempted petty larceny. Bonilla faces up to a year in jail for the conviction of a Class A misdemeanor.

Bonilla, reached via telephone, said Tuesday that he was "hoping for the best" and declined to comment further.

His attorney, Adrian DiLuzio of Mineola, said he maintains that his client should have been found not guilty, and he hopes for a lenient sentence.

"I don't think what he did was even criminal," DiLuzio said.

The Nassau district attorney's office would not comment on the case until after sentencing, an office spokesman said Tuesday. District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in July that Bonilla "created a toxic work environment with his personal conduct."

Bonilla, a Republican, had been town clerk for about 10 years and made $129,500 a year.

Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, a Republican, called for Bonilla to resign after his arrest. Bonilla declined. Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared the seat vacant last month, after the conviction.

Hempstead's Republican-controlled town board filled the opening created by Bonilla's conviction by appointing Nasrin Ahmad, formerly an administrative supervisor in Bonilla's office. Ahmad, a Republican, will face the Democratic nominee, insurance law attorney Jasmine Garcia-Vieux, in the November election.


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