The deputy commissioner of the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management was arrested Thursday for allegedly failing to disclose on his job application that he was convicted of a felony, prosecutors said.
Edward Korona, Jr. did not enter a plea when he was arraigned on charges of perjury, four counts of offering a false instrument for filing, four counts of making an apparently false sworn statement—all felonies—and a misdemeanor count of official misconduct.
“We vehemently deny the charges and I think as this case proceeds in the courts it will show that these charges have no merit,” his Garden City-based attorney, N. Scott Banks, told reporters outside court after Korona left without commenting.
Prosecutors alleged that the 53-year-old Hicksville man, who was previously chief of the Hicksville Fire Department, wrote “No” on four civil service job application forms between 2007 and 2013 next to the question asking if he was ever convicted of a violation, misdemeanor or felony.
“A criminal conviction should not be an absolute bar to government employment, but lying about a prior felony four times on sworn job applications is a serious offense—especially for a high-ranking official entrusted with important responsibilities,” acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
Korona was convicted of burglary and attempted burglary in 1982, according to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. He served four years in prison before he was released, the agency said.
“I waited in the car,” Korona allegedly told investigators with the district attorney’s office who questioned him about the alleged application omissions, according to court documents obtained by the Press. He also allegedly told investigators that he had also been arrested prior to the burglary in both Nassau and Suffolk counties for an “incident related to a vehicle,” but believed that those convictions were given youthful offender status.
“He was hired as a civil servant in 1986, has retained his permanent civil service title and accordingly this matter is under review,” Nassau County Attorney Carnell Foskey said in a statement in response to questions posed to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s spokesman regarding Korona’s employment status.
Korona, who was appointed to his current position, has donated nearly $1,000 to Mangano’s campaign and the Nassau County Republican Committee, according to the state Department of Elections.
Singas said the allegations surfaced amid her office’s continuing investigation into the county’s contracting process, which has been the focus of numerous inquiries this year. Korona is not accused of any crimes related to contracts, prosecutors noted.
Nassau County Judge Frank Doddato released Korona without bail. Korona faces up to four years in prison, if convicted. He is due back in court Nov. 10.
-With Rashed Mian