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Town of Hempstead Clerk Mark Bonilla Convicted of Official Misconduct

LongIsland.com

Bonilla threatened to transfer a male employee unless he obtained personal photos of sexual harassment complainant.

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MINEOLA, NY – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that a judge has convicted Town Hempstead Clerk Mark Bonilla of threatening to transfer an employee unless he gave Bonilla personal photographs of a female employee who had accused Bonilla of sexual harassment.

Bonilla, 50, of Bellmore, was convicted by Judge Sharon Gianelli of one count of Official Misconduct, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. Bonilla was found not guilty of one count each of Official Misconduct, Coercion in the Second Degree, and Attempted Petit Larceny. Bonilla will be sentenced September 26.

Rice said that in August 2012, a 21-year-old female employee in Bonilla’s office filed a sexual harassment claim against Bonilla, claiming that he had groped her and made sexual advances toward her for two years. Later that month, Bonilla met with a male employee who was in a relationship with the female employee who filed the claim against him. Bonilla asked the male employee to provide him with inappropriate photographs of his accuser.

After the male employee did not deliver the pictures by early September, Bonilla threatened to transfer him out of his department, but also promised the employee a transfer to full-time status if he was able to deliver the photos.

The case was referred to the DA’s Office by Town of Hempstead officials and Bonilla was arrested on September 21, 2012 as a result of the investigation.

“Mark Bonilla created a toxic work environment with his personal conduct and then tried to smear a young woman who rebuffed his unwanted sexual advances,” Rice said. "Voters rightly expect elected officials to do their jobs with professionalism and common decency, and my office will continue to hold accountable those who violate the public trust.”

Assistant District Attorney Jed L. Painter of the DA’s Public Corruption Bureau is prosecuting the case. Bonilla is represented by Adrian DiLuzio, Esq.