The former head of maintenance for the Village of Hempstead

Housing Authority was convicted yesterday of forcing contractors to kick back

more than $150,000, officials said.

James Graydon, 62, of 875 Cornwell Ave., Uniondale was convicted in Federal

District Court in Central Islip of using his position to conspire to commit

extortion, two counts of extortion and two counts of bribery, according to

Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Jaffe Bloom.

Graydon had been arrested in February along with James McKay, the former

head of Public Information for the Nassau County Economic Opportunity


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McKay, 54, of 47 Orchard Court., Roslyn Heights, pleaded guilty and became

a government witness against Graydon, Jaffe Bloom said. There is no suggestion

any other officials of the two agencies were involved in the scheme, Jaffe

Bloom said.

Graydon maintained that he was being set up because he had become a

whistle-blower concerning irregularities at the Housing Authority, Jaffe Bloom


Graydon's attorney, federal public defender Tracey Gaffey, said her client

was considering an appeal.