Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 24, 2012

Lockport attorney admits Mongielo wasn't offered jury trial

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — David J. Mongielo did not have an opportunity for a jury trial when he was in court facing a charge of violating the Town of Lockport’s electronic sign ordinance a second time, the town prosecutor admitted Friday in Niagara County Court.

The auto repair shop owner was in court appealing his conviction and 15-day jail sentence before Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III. Mongielo’s appeal was based on questions about the lack of a jury trial, the constitutionality of the sign law, the conviction and the resulting sentence. Murphy will issue a decision sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Both Frank Housh, Mongielo’s attorney, and Bradley Marble, the Lockport town prosecutor, agreed Mongielo was not given a chance to exercise his right to a jury trial. That could lead to a new trial.

“We are conceding the right of a jury trial was not afforded,” Marble said in court.

“All I was asking for is a fair trial,” Mongielo said afterward.

Mongielo was sentenced and fined April 17 in Lockport Town Court by Justice Raymond E. Schilling, after being found guilty by Schilling in March and a nonjury trial in December. The jail sentence was the result of the violation coming within the one-year conditional discharge Mongielo received on Sept. 14, 2010 for his first violation of the sign ordinance. He was fined $750 at that time, $250 for each count of violating the ordinance.

The condition for the discharge was that Mongielo could not break the sign law again. Nearly a year after the first conviction, Mongielo’s sign was videotaped by Donald Jablonski, the town zoning board chairman. On Aug. 25, 2011, the sign advertised a fundraiser for an injured Niagara County Sheriff’s deputy during which the image changed every few seconds, according to the nine minute video shot by Jablonski.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results