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Mongielo’s attorney a no-show for court session

LOCKPORT – Auto repair shop owner David J. Mongielo returned to Town Court without a lawyer earlier this week, resulting in a two-week delay of proceedings leading to a new trial on charges of violating the town’s ordinance against video signboards.

Attorney Frank T. Housh, who won Mongielo’s appeal before Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III, did not appear as Mongielo handed in a self-written motion arguing that the court had to prove its jurisdiction over him.

“I still believe in my client,” Housh said when reached by telephone. “My client had some motions he wanted to submit.” He declined comment on them.

Justice Raymond E. Schilling refused to accept Mongielo’s motion because Housh is his attorney of record. He adjourned the case two weeks to find out if Housh is going to participate. If not, Schilling said he needs to know that in writing.

One of the reasons Murphy overturned Mongielo’s conviction was that Schilling allowed Mongielo to represent himself in a nonjury trial last year without thoroughly informing Mongielo of the risks of such a move.