MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a former Hempstead Village Trustee was sentenced today to 2-1/3 to seven years in prison for extorting business owners, ticket fixing, and submitting false paystubs to obtain a mortgage.
Perry Pettus, 63, pled guilty on June 13 in satisfaction of indictments 1208N-2018, 1600N-2018, 1601N-2018, 1836N-2018, 715N-2019 and 716N-2019 before Supervising Judge Teresa Corrigan to:
- Bribe Receiving in the Second Degree (a C felony)
- Five counts Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a C felony)
- Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree (a D felony)
- Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a D felony)
- Two counts of Tampering with Public Records in the First Degree (a D felony)
- Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (an E felony)
- Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (an E felony)
- Official Misconduct (an A misdemeanor)
- Tampering with a Witness in the Fourth Degree (an A misdemeanor)
- Two counts of Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree (an A misdemeanor)
“Perry Pettus’s corrupting influence infected virtually every aspect of government in the Village of Hempstead,” DA 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. With today’s sentence a disturbing chapter in the Village’s history has ended and I renew my call for Village officials take comprehensive steps to prevent this kind of corruption and abuse in the future.”
DA Singas said that according to indictment 1208N-2018, from between February 2018 and May 2018, Pettus used his position and authority as a deputy mayor and trustee of the village to solicit more than $50,000 in bribes from Hempstead restauranteurs by threatening to have summonses issued that would jeopardize the restaurants’ business, cabaret and liquor licenses, thereby forcing the restaurants out of business.
According to indictment 1601N-2018, from June 2017 to September 2018, Pettus used his position and authority as a deputy mayor and trustee of the village to solicit more than $100,000 in 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. It is alleged that Pettus and an associate, William Mendez, a local restaurant and bar owner in the Village of Hempstead, targeted Hispanic-owned businesses as part of their extortion scheme.
According to indictment 1600N-2018, in November 2016, the defendant attempted 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.
According to indictment 715N-2019, from May 16, 2018, to June 5, 2018, Pettus used his position and authority as a trustee of the village to fix tickets for an employee of Mendez. Pettus allegedly called then-Lieutenant Paul Johnson of the Hempstead Police Department on the same day, described the tickets and told Johnson he would stop by the police department and show him the ticket numbers on his phone. Johnson later allegedly told Pettus that the tickets would be fixed and Pettus then called Mendez to say, “They’re done. You don’t have to worry.”
According to indictment 716N-2019, from April 13, 2018, to April 16, 2018, Pettus used his position to ask Joseph Savino, a Sergeant in the Hempstead Police Department, to fix tickets as a favor to Mendez. Savino allegedly disposed of two parking tickets issued to Mendez and a uniform traffic summons and complaint issued to an employee of Mendez.
According to indictment 1836N-2018, Pettus received a cash bribe – wrapped in newspaper – allegedly from Hempstead Police Department Lieutenant Richard Holland, in exchange for voting to promote Holland to deputy chief of the department on June 5, 2018.
The cases against Mendez, Johnson, Holland, and Savino are still pending.
June 13, 2019 – Former Hempstead Village Trustee Pleads Guilty to Bribe Receiving, Grand Larceny and Other Charges
July 31, 2018 - Hempstead Village Trustee and Associate Indicted for Soliciting Bribes and Extortion
October 17, 2018 – Hempstead Village Trustee and Associate Indicted on New Charges
November 16, 2018 – Hempstead Village Trustee and Deputy Chief of Village of Hempstead Police Department Indicted
May 1, 2019 – Hempstead Police Chief, Police Sergeant Former Village Trustee and Restaurant Owner Indicted
Senior Investigative Counsel Lisa Berk and Senior Assistant District Attorney Sarah Nadeau Balducci of DA Singas’ Public Corruption Bureau are prosecuting this case.
Pettus is represented by Jim Druker, Esq., Mendez is represented by Bruce Barket, Esq., Johnson is represented by Ronald Bekoff, Esq. and Savino is represented by Scott Carrigan, Esq. Holland is represented by Jerald Carter, Esq.
The charges against the remaining defendants are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.