Ex-Hempstead Village Trustee Sentenced For Taking Bribes

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Left to right: Perry Pettus and William Mendez

A former Hempstead Village Trustee has been sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison for extorting business owners, ticket fixing, and submitting false pay stubs to obtain a mortgage.

Nassau County Judge Teresa Corrigan sentenced Perry Pettus on Tuesday after the ex-lawmaker pleaded guilty in June to bribe receiving, grand larceny, tampering with public records, falsifying business records, conspiracy, official misconduct, and tampering with a witness.

“Perry Pettus’s corrupting influence infected virtually every aspect of government in the Village of Hempstead,” Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “He abused his position to shake down businesses and solicit bribes and exploited his authority over the Hempstead Police Department to obtain favorable treatment for friends and to punish enemies.”

Prosecutors said Pettus, who is also the owner of Hubs Auto Care, solicited bribes from local restauranteurs by threatening to have summonses issued that would jeopardize the restaurants’ business, cabaret and liquor licenses, thereby forcing the restaurants out of business.

He also tried to obtain a mortgage from TD Bank by lying on the application about the amount of money he earned annually and submitting forged pay stubs as proof of income, tried to use his authority to fix tickets for associate William Mendez, and took a cash bribe in exchange for his vote.

Former Hempstead Police Department Lieutenant Richard Holland allegedly bribed Pettus in exchange for voting to promote Holland to deputy chief of the department. Mendez, Holland, and two other village police officials are still facing charges.