This story was originally published at 12:57 p.m. on July 25. It was updated at 2:38 p.m.
trial of Mark Bonilla came to a close Thursday, with the Hempstead Town
Clerk being found guilty on one count of official misconduct.
Hempstead Town officials called for Bonilla’s resignation after he was accused in September 2012 of threatening to transfer an employee unless he gave Bonilla personal photographs of a female employee who had accused Bonilla of sexual harassment.
After waiving his right to a jury trial, the 50-year-old town clerk was convicted by Judge Sharon Gianelli of one count of official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
Upon the announcement of the verdict, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray once again called for Bonilla's resignation from office.
"Government officials must be held to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism," Murray said. "When elected officials do not uphold those standards they violate the public’s trust, and no longer have any place in public service. In light of the conviction of the Town Clerk on charges of Official Misconduct, I am renewing my call for him to resign his office."
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said that in August 2012, a 21-year-old female employee in Bonilla’s office filed a sexual harassment claim against Bonilla, claiming that he had groped her and made sexual advances toward her for two years.
Later that month, Rice said Bonilla met with a male employee who was in a relationship with the female employee who filed the claim against him. He asked the male employee to provide him with inappropriate photographs of his accuser.
After the male employee did not deliver the pictures by early September, Rice said Bonilla threatened to transfer him out of his department, but also promised the employee a transfer to full-time status if he was able to deliver the photos.
The case was referred to the DA’s Office by Town of Hempstead officials and Bonilla was arrested on Sept. 21, 2012 as a result of the investigation.
“Mark Bonilla created a toxic work environment with his personal conduct and then tried to smear a young woman who rebuffed his unwanted sexual advances,” Rice said. "Voters rightly expect elected officials to do their jobs with professionalism and common decency, and my office will continue to hold accountable those who violate the public trust.”
Bonilla was found not guilty on additional charges of official misconduct, coercion in the second degree and attempted petit larceny.
Bonilla will be sentenced Sept. 26.