Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla cleared his office yesterday after being forced to vacate his seat by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Bonilla was fired after harassing a female employee and attempting to get sexually explicit pictures from her boyfriend, another employee of Bonilla's, last year. In July he was convicted of Official Misconduct -a Class A misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail.
“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,” District Attorney Kathleen 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.”
D.A. Rice says that last August a 21-year-old female employee in Bonilla’s office filed a sexual harassment claim against the Town Clerk. She says that for two years Bonilla groped and made sexual advances toward her. When she became involved with a male employee in the office, Bonilla set his sights on him. The elected official asked his employee for inappropriate pictures of the woman and promised him full-time status if he gave them up.
When the male employee said no, Bonilla threatened to transfer him out of the office. This was the last straw for the employees he terrorized. Bonilla was arrested for harassing the two employees last September after being referred to the District Attorney’s office by Hempstead's town officials.
After being charged last year, Bonilla refused to resign despite the allegations against him because he wanted to clear his name. It took a year of prosecution and being forced out by New York’s Governor Cuomo for Bonilla to finally be ousted from his position as Hempstead Town Clerk.