John Novello, former Hempstead official, sentenced to 5 years of probation

Brandon Duffy
John Novello was indicted on 11 counts including Grand Larceny. (Photo courtesy of the Town of Hempstead)

John Novello, the former deputy commissioner of the Town of Hempstead Building Department, was sentenced on Sept. 30 to five years of probation for two counts of grand larceny. 

The sentencing follows a guilty plea in July to charges that he stole over $59,000 from the Cedarhurst Republican Committee, where he previously served as executive leader. The former town official pleaded guilty before Judge Teresa Corrigan.

Novello, 53, spent money stolen from the committee and donations from its annual golf fundraiser, the Mayor’s cup, for personal use, prosecutors said. He allegedly spent the money on mortgage payments for his home in Hewlett Harbor, luxury candy, restaurants and groceries. 

Between August 2017 and March 2019, Novello was also involved in a separate matter where he made false statements on commercial loan applications, prosecutors said. They said  he used the money in the scheme to buy and renovate his home in Hewlett Harbor. Novello was also sentenced in that matter. 

Prosecutors said Novello has paid $41,000 in restitution to the Nassau County Republican Committee. 

In a statement, acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith said Novello abused his position of power and the trust of his peers. 

“As public official and political party leader, John Novello was entrusted with serving the people of Hempstead and leading his Republican club, but instead he used donor funds as his personal piggy bank and made a fake company to scam a lender into giving him a million dollar loan,” Smith said. “We have no tolerance for abuses like these in Nassau County, and because of this prosecution, he will be held accountable for these criminal betrayals of trust.”

Prosecutors said Novello lied to a commercial lender after creating a fake LLC to secure over one million dollars in loans. He initially swore it was an investment property, but in reality used the money to purchase and renovate his home in Hewlett Harbor, they said.  

The two counts of grand larceny Novello pleaded guilty to in July are C felonies, which encompass midrange crimes. 

Robert Cavallo of the Public Corruption Bureau and Joe Gim of the County Court Trial Bureau were prosecutors for this case. 

Efforts to reach Novello’s lawyer, Jerald Carter, were unavailing. 

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