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Toll collector’s trial in harassment case delayed

July 16, 2009, 6:58 AM /

The criminal case against a Grand Island toll collector who allegedly harassed and threatened a critic has been adjourned again until next month.

Toll collector David Zelonis, 52, is now scheduled to face a charge of aggravated harassment Aug. 19 in Grand Island Town Court. Zelonis and his attorney, Terry Brennan, appeared in court Wednesday to learn of the adjournment.

Zelonis, who has pleaded not guilty, is accused of targeting Grand Island resident Rus Thompson, an ardent and outspoken opponent of the Thruway tolls at the Grand Island bridges.

Zelonis allegedly sent Thompson several e-mails over the last two years, including one suggesting a fire had broken out in Thompson’s house.

Zelonis was suspended by the Thruway Authority for 30 days shortly after his arrest in May but returned to work on June 6. He is expected to face a disciplinary hearing with the Thruway Authority on Aug. 11.