Councilman accused of hiding job, getting unemployment pay

LONG BEACH - Long Beach City Councilman Michael Fagen has been arrested for allegedly receiving $7,000 in unemployment benefits while he had a job.

Fagen, a Democrat, was elected to the Long Beach City Council in Sept. 2009. He has been paid an annual salary of nearly $20,000.

The Nassau County District Attorney's Office says Fagen never disclosed his employment to the Department of Labor and has been illegally collecting about $400 a week.

At a City Council meeting tonight, residents demanded answers from Fagen, who had earlier been released without bail.

Fagen maintained his innocence throughout the meeting and declined to discuss the issue further. He said he has trust in the judicial system and is confident he will be exonerated.

Some residents said that they expected more from their elected officials and that they felt disappointed by his alleged actions.

Fagen is due back in court in July.

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