By Emily Guggenmos
Lockport, NY (WIVB/CNN) - A business owner in upstate New York has been sentenced to jail over a sign violation.
A judge in Lockport says he violated a local ordinance on electronic displays.
The law in the town of Lockport says signs can't change more than once every ten minutes.
In 2009 business owner David Mongielo was first found in violation.
"The law reads that the format or the message may only change once every ten minutes. So the format is the program and the video is the format so that alone means it's legal," said Mongielo.
He had to pay a fine of $700, and if he violated the law within a year he would have to serve 15 days in jail.
Days before the year was up, Mongielo's sign illuminated an upcoming fundraiser for Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Allen Gerhardt who lost both legs in a car accident while on duty.
"Displaying a fundraising event, happy birthday message anything non commercial it's my constitutional right they can't regulate it," he said.
He was found in violation again, and Tuesday night he learned his sentence.
"I'm just sick to my stomach. I feel bad for my wife, my children more than anything else. I try to do my best to help in the community," said Mongielo.
He will have to pay a $250 fine for his most recent offense, and that will be it if he doesn't violate within a year.
In addition, on May 17th, he begins a 15 day jail sentence for breaking the original one year requirement.
"There's so much wrong with this prosecution. There's so much wrong with this case, I can't really begin. But I think that says it all. They want to put him in jail over a sign ordinance," said his attorney, Frank Housh.
Mongielo and his attorney say they plan to appeal.