A former Suffolk County legislator admitted Friday in Suffolk County court to falsely stating that he lived in the district he represented while he was in office.
Elie Mystal pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree filing a false instrument, a felony.
Mystal had filed sworn documents with the county Board of Elections in 2007 that falsely stated that he resided on Colonial Road in Copiague, which falls within the 15th Legislative District, Suffolk County prosecutors said. He confessed to investigators in 2008 that he lived outside the district in a Huntington Station home owned by his wife.
“Mr. Mystal will pay back to Suffolk County the salary he received under false pretenses,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. “He will return the $84,307.36 he illegally collected from taxpayers from June 1, 2007 through May 7, 2008 when he did not live in the 15th legislative district.”
Mystal, 64, who now lives in North Palm Beach Garden, Fla., will also serve five years probation.
Mystal was first elected to the county legislature in 2004 in a special election after his companion, Maxine Postal, the former presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, died of a rare neurological disorder.
He was re-elected in 2005 and 2007. Legis. DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) replaced Mystal in a special election in 2008.
County law requires county legislators to maintain a residence in the legislative district at the time they are designated as a nominee and for the duration of their term in office.