After pleading guilty in April to two Class E Felonies, including Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, the former Village of Farmingdale Mayor Joseph Trudden, 55, of Farmingdale received his sentence.
Former Farmingdale Village Mayor Joseph Trudden. Photo by Ed Cox.
Trudden was arrested by the District Attorney's Special Investigations Bureau on Jan. 12, 2005 for preparing and submitting false records to the New York State Comptroller's Office during an audit they were conducting for June 2001 through May of 2003.
Announced by Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon and imposed by Nassau County Judge Victor Ort the sentence was as follows: five years probation on each count (with sentences to run concurrently), a $2,500 fine, therapy as directed by probation, and restitution in the amount of $2,123.02 to the Village of Farmingdale. In addition, Trudden has made restitution to the Village of Farmingdale in the amount of $20,000 as part of a civil settlement.
According to Dillon, "During an audit of the Village of Farmingdale by the New York State Comptroller's Office in July of 2003, Trudden prepared and submitted false documents regarding lunch and dinner meetings with various public officials and community leaders. In order to justify credit card bills for meals and drinks at local restaurants paid for using a Village credit card he claimed falsely that these expenditures were part of Village business. Trudden claimed that the meetings with public officials and community leaders were to discuss issues of public interest. After investigating our office discovered that many of these meetings never took place with the public officials and community leaders."
In addition to the above sentencing, Judge Ort also issued a permanent order of protection for former Village Clerk John Giordano of Farmingdale. According to the district attorney's office, Giordano was a witness in the case and requested the order of protection.
"I would like to thank the office of the New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, Deputy Comptroller Robert Brackman and Chief Investigative Counsel Samantha Biletsky for their assistance and cooperation during this investigation," Dillon concluded.
Trudden was a former Marine and Suffolk County police officer who had served over 20 years on the force. He is currently a member of the Farmingdale Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs as well as a volunteer for the Farmingdale Fire Department. Trudden served as mayor for the Village of Farmingdale for 12 years until he was defeated in an election March of 2004.
Trudden's attorney, Joseph R. Conway of LaRusso & Conway in Mineola later told the Farmingdale Observer "Mr. Trudden has served his country, his county and his village with honor. He is glad to put this episode behind him and looks forward to a promising future."