Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 17 August 2012 00:00
A trial involving corruption charges against three former public officials related to the multimillion dollar New Cassel Redevelopment Project came to a halt on Aug. 6 when Acting Supreme Court Judge Justice Alan Honorof declared a mistrial on 17 remaining counts after a juror deliberating on the case asked to be excused due to a medical issue. An alternate juror had previously been released.
Former Nassau County legislators Roger Corbin and Patrick Williams were on trial along with the former head of the Town of North Hempstead Community Development Agency, Neville Mullings. Corbin and Mullings are Westbury residents.
On July 17 and Aug.12, there had been partial verdicts delivered by jurors, finding Corbin guilty of bribe receiving in the second degree and official misconduct. Mullings was found guilty on two counts of official misconduct and two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree. Williams was found guilty on two counts of fourth-degree conspiracy.
Jurors found Corbin not guilty of grand larceny in the first and second degree, three counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree, defrauding the government, falsifying business records in the first degree and another count of official misconduct. Mullings was acquitted of grand larceny in the second degree, defrauding the government, falsifying business records in the first degree and three counts of official misconduct. The jury found Williams not guilty of grand larceny in the first and second degree.
The Aug. 6 mistrial was declared on three charges against Corbin, three charges against Williams and 11 charges against Mullings.
Following the mistrial being declared, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice stated, “This trial concludes with one undeniable fact: that Roger Corbin, Patrick Williams, and Neville Mullings abused their positions to steal this project from the people of New Cassel for their own personal gain. Whether that meant bid-rigging, soliciting and receiving bribes, or the outright theft of taxpayer money, these men were not shy about taking what they wanted and their felony convictions were inevitable. My office is committed to rooting out public corruption and I will continue to aggressively investigate, arrest, and prosecute any public official who thinks they can violate the public trust.”
The defendants could not be reached for comment.
New Cassel’s downtown area along Prospect Avenue is now the site of many small businesses and affordable housing units. Later this year, a $20 million, 60,000-square-foot community center – which will feature two NBA-sized basketball courts, an Internet café and computer training center, dance and TV studios, lounges for youth and seniors, a fitness center, conference rooms and more – will open for public use.