Nassau County District Attorney's Office

Nassau DA: Hempstead Village Trustee, Police Chief Charged With Bribery

November 15, 2018 - 3:46 pm

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (WCBS 880) —A Hempstead Village deputy chief and village trustee have been arrested in an alleged bribery scheme.

According to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, the exchange of $1,000 between Hempstead Village Trustee Perry Pettus and former Hempstead Village Police Lt. Richard Holland was captured of surveillance video.

The money had been folded in a newspaper in hopes of keeping the exchange secretive, the DA said.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, the money was given to Pettus by Holland so that the village trustee would promote the lieutenant.

Not soon after the money was exchanged, Holland was granted his promotion, and authorities made an arrest.

“When public officials who are there to serve the public interests suddenly start serving their own interests in committing crimes in that vein, we're not gonna tolerate it,” Singas told reporters.

Pettus and Holland was released after pleading not guilty and left the courthouse without speaking to the press.

“I along with the Deputy Mayor and the two other Trustees are saddened by this new indictment. These are serious allegations and we are committed to ensuring that the residents do not lose faith in Village government and we will continue to work hard to maintain the residents trust," Hempstead Village Mayor Don Ryan said in a statement.

This is the third time Pettus will face a judge on corruption charges. He previously was accused of bribery and extortion of local businesses.

Currently, Pettus continued to hold his position as trustee. It’s unclear if Holland remains a deputy chief.

"We are taking this situation seriously and are fully cooperating with the Nassau County District Attorney’s office as they further explore this matter," Hempstead Village Police Department Assistant Chief Patrick Cooke said of the situation.