An appeals court this week upheld the convictions of two former Nassau County lawmakers and a North Hempstead Town official for their part in a $400,000 bribery scheme involving a New Cassel redevelopment project.
The State Supreme Court appellate division’s decision was rendered on Wednesday, two months after lawyers for the three men argued their 2014 convictions in the bribery scheme.
The trio—ex-legislators Roger Corbin and Patrick Williams and North Hempstead Town Community Development Agency Executive Director Neville Mullings—were convicted on a range of charges, including conspiracy and official misconduct. A jury in Nassau also found Corbin guilty of receiving a bribe.
The initial charges stemmed from a bid-rigging scheme involving a multi-million-dollar redevelopment project in New Cassel that the community had hoped would revive the downtown area. The three-year investigation culminated in a 2010 indictment charging the three for multiple schemes, including bribery and swinging the process in favor of a specific developer.
As the Press reported in 2010: “The conspiracy was multi-layered: Williams, 62, of Uniondale, first formed a shell company in his sister’s name and submitted a bid to develop one of the New Cassel sites; when the firm was found to have insufficient financing, Williams tried to coerce a developer to buy what was falsely described as “exclusive rights” for a bank’s tenancy; In the same meeting, a 69-year-old Mullings of Westbury said if the developer paid him $200,000 he would guarantee that CDA, the agency in charge of choosing a builder, would pick his firm, according to prosecutors.”
In response to the court’s decision, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said the men “used their positions of power to line their own pockets.”
In all three cases, the court said the sentence imposed by Judge Alan Honorof “was not excessive.”
Corbin was sentenced two to six years in prison, Williams to one year, and Mullings to nine months.
The trio could take their case to the New York State Court of Appeals.