Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 15, 2014

Pair of court dates faced by Mongielo

BY JOE OLENICK joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — David J. Mongielo will return next month to Lockport City Court to stand trial on charges stemming from his traffic checkpoint arrest, but first he’ll appear next week for sentencing on his violation of the Town of Lockport’s electronic sign ordinance.

Frank T. Housh, Mongielo’s attorney, said Mongielo will stand trial Feb. 25 in city court. Mongielo turned down a plea deal Monday that would have had him plead guilty to obstruction of governmental administration, a class B misdemeanor. 

“My client rejected it,” Housh said.

Back on June 27, Mongielo objected to a traffic checkpoint on Lincoln Avenue on the city-town border and was ordered out of his car. Mongielo was reportedly thrown to the pavement by officers who arrested him on a variety of charges, including resisting arrest and using a cellphone while driving. Mongielo has said he was using the phone to shoot video of the officers.

He tried to file a police brutality suit without an attorney, but it was dismissed by State Supreme Court Justice Catherine Nugent Panepinto on Nov. 14 because the officers weren’t properly served with the papers.

Next Tuesday, Mongielo will be sentenced for his violation of the conditional discharge he received in 2010 after his first conviction on a charge of violating the town’s sign ordinance. The ordinance bans electronic signs that change message or format more than once every 10 minutes.

Lockport Town Justice Leonard G. Tilney Jr. has taken over Mongielo’s case from the now-retired Justice Raymond E. Schilling, who oversaw the matter for three years.

While serving the 2010 conditional discharge, Mongielo was charged with violating the sign ordinance a second time in August 2011. The electronic sign in front of Mongielo’s business on Robinson Road was reportedly used to show a video advertising a fundraiser. The one-year conditional discharge would have expired the following month.

Schilling found Mongielo guilty of that conditional discharge violation but delayed sentencing until after the trial on the second sign ordinance violation.

Mongielo was convicted of that second ordinance violation in a December 2011 nonjury trial before Schilling, but in September 2012, County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III overturned the conviction, saying Mongielo was entitled to a jury trial.

A jury trial date on the second ordinance violation could be set next week.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.