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Thursday, January 23, 2014
Town of Lockport business owner David Mongielo was granted a stay of sentence on Wednesday, delaying his 10-day jail sentence until Niagara County Judge Matthew Murphy rules on an appeal put forth by Mongielo's attorney Frank T. Housh.

Mongielo had been ordered Tuesday by Town of Lockport Justice Leonard G. Tilney Jr. to report to Niagara County Jail at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon for violation of a conditional discharge he received in 2010 regarding a town sign ordinance.

The Town of Lockport sign ordinance prohibits electronic signs from changing more than once every 10 minutes. Mongielo's sign, in front of his business on Robinson Road, had displayed a video for a fundraiser, captured on video and reported by then-Lockport Republican Committee Chairman Donald J. Jablonski.

Mongielo's appeal is based, in part, on the political affiliation of Jablonski and Tilney, also a Republican. He says that the political system in the Town of Lockport makes it impossible for him to get a fair trial in front of the judge and has pressed for a jury trial in the matter.

A date for the appeal hearing has not been set but on Feb. 26, Mongielo will be in Lockport City Court over a traffic violation he was charged with on June 27. Mongielo turned down a plea deal earlier this month that would have had him plead guilty to obstruction of governmental administration, a class B misdemeanor. His original charges included resisting arrest and using a cellphone while driving.

Mongielo says he was using his cellphone to record the officer's interview with him. He contends that he was roughed up in that traffic stop and had attempted to file a police brutality suit, 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.

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