Ex-Hempstead Town, GOP Official Admits $60K Theft

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The Town of Hempstead Buildings Department’s former deputy commissioner admitted stealing more than $59,000 from the Cedarhurst Republican Committee, of which he was also executive leader.

John Novello, who was also chief of staff to New York State Assemblywoman Missy Miller (R-Atlantic Beach) until shortly before his arrest, pleaded guilty Friday to grand larceny at Nassau County court. Ten other theft and election law charges were dropped in exchange for his plea.

“The Town of Hempstead holds its managers to the highest standard of conduct and professionalism. Accordingly, Mr. Novello’s employment with the Town terminated in February of 2021,” said Greg Blower, a spokesman for the town. The Nassau GOP also removed Novello from his position in the party.

Prosecutors have said the Hewlett Harbor man spent the money from the committee’s campaign account on his home mortgage, a winery trip, luxury candies, entertainment, and personal expenses from January 2016 through his arrest in 2019.

He also allegedly stole more than $37,000 from donations to the committee’s annual golf tournament fundraiser and the Mayor’s Cup in 2018 and 2019, according to investigators.

Then-Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas had called the theft “an outrageous betrayal of trust by a public official and party leader.” 

Novello, who was released without bail, faces up to 15 years in prison when Judge Theresa Corrigan is scheduled to sentence him on Sept. 27. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

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