HEMPSTEAD - A witness took the stand today in the misconduct trial of Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla and testified that the embattled clerk attempted to obtain intimate photos of a coworker.
As News 12 Long Island has reported, Mark Bonilla is accused of sexually harassing employee Ariel Davis, then trying to solicit intimate photos and videos of her to use as blackmail. Prosecutors say the town clerk did everything he could to silence the woman after she filed a harassment suit against him last year.
This morning, a town clerk employee testified that Bonilla tried to get the photos from Davis' boyfriend, who also works in the office. According to the testimony, a CD was eventually left for Bonilla, but the photos couldn't be accessed because it was password-protected.
Bonilla's attorney argued that it doesn't amount to misconduct. "If somebody offers me pictures and I take them, what's misconduct?" his attorney asked pointedly. The lawyer argues that the entire case is politically motivated.
Bonilla has been the town clerk for nearly a decade and has refused to step down despite calls for his resignation. He could face up to a year behind bars if convicted.