The second sentencing hearing for Christopher St. Lawrence at the Federal Courthouse in White Plains ended today at 1 pm. The prosecution’s expert witness from the SEC, Jonathan Wilcox explained how he determined the $2.3 million loss incurred by those who invested in the misrepresented Ramapo RLDC bonds. After hours of questioning, Judge Cathy Seibel adjourned the session and scheduled a resumption on December 11 at 1 pm. At that time, the expert witness for the defense will also present their estimate of the losses, if any, incurred by the investors. This information is necessary for the court to arrive at a number for the damage caused by St. Lawrence’s fraudulent numbers that were used to apply for the ballpark bonds. To be determined yet are the issues of a personal fine and the length of the sentence to be imposed. Judge Seibel also postponed the sentencing of Aaron Troodler until after the St. Lawrence sentencing is completed.
“Former Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence’s sentencing on corruption-related charges has been delayed for an indefinite period as the judge weighs the extent of financial losses incurred by investors who bought the town’s municipal bonds.
U.S. Judge Cathy Seibel will begin taking testimony Wednesday morning from witnesses for the prosecution and defense on the estimated financial loss to investors. How the investors will be repaid and any St. Lawrence restitution remain separate issues for Seibel to decide. [Read more…]
“When U.S. Judge Cathy Seibel is scheduled to sentence Christopher St. Lawrence on Monday, the jurist will likely settle the disagreements between prosecutors and St. Lawrence’s attorney on the former Ramapo supervisor’s motivations to commit fraud and how much prison time he deserves.
However, Monday’s sentencing could be adjourned until December.
St. Lawrence’s attorney asked Seibel in court papers filed Wednesday for additional time to analyze the prosecution’s updated estimation of the financial loss suffered by investors who bought Ramapo bonds based on false information from St. Lawrence. [Read more…]
“A group of parents from East Ramapo have sued the school district, saying that the at-large voting system used to elect members to the school board has led to a lack of representation by minorities.
Filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, the suit demands no further school board elections be held until a ward system made up of nine single-member districts is in place.
The plaintiffs, including seven black or Latino voters, as well as the Spring Valley NAACP, claim East Ramapo is in violation of the Federal Voting Rights Act. In addition to the school board, state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is listed as a defendant. [Read more…]
U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel adjourned St. Lawrence’s sentencing, which had been set for Sept. 28, at his lawyer’s request.
A federal jury convicted St. Lawrence on May 29 on 20 corruption-related charges accusing him of manipulating the town’s books and fabricating revenues to get better rates on bonds to finance the town’s baseball stadium and other projects. The conviction ended the Democrat’s 16-year reign as supervisor. [Read more…]
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law Tuesday that allows the state education commissioner to change the school district’s name. The bill was co-sponsored by state Sen. David Carlucci and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and unanimously passed both houses of the state Legislature in June.
The name change was meant to clear up confusion with the neighboring East Ramapo school district and set the two districts apart. [Read more…]
The following editorial appeared in The Journal News on August 11, 2017
“Many have been worried about a recent expansion into New Jersey of a Ramapo-area eruv — a near-invisible boundary that allows Orthodox Jews more freedom of movement during the Sabbath.
Some say the boundary would extend eastern Ramapo’s chaos and crowded conditions into their backyard.
But Ramapo’s mess can be blamed on policy, not PVC piping; ill-planned zoning and lax building code enforcement caused the issues in Ramapo, not eruvs attached to utility poles. [Read more…]
Last night, at the regular Ramapo Town Board meeting, acting Supervisor Yitzchok Ullman and the Town Board removed the last vestiges of Christopher St. Lawrence’s influence in the shadow government that he had operated for years out of the Ramapo Local Development Corporation (RLDC). [Read more…]
You would think that as fast as St. Lawrence and his attorney were pedaling in the courtroom in White Plains, trying to outrun the 22 felony charges from the Dept of Justice, that he wouldn’t have time to continue to siphon public money to his bankrupt RLDC. So much for common sense. While St. Lawrence and his attorney, Michael Burke, were looking over perspective jurors, his corrupt machine was still still cranking up the giant sucking sound at Town Hall on Route 59, vacuuming millions in public assets. At the other end of the pipe, almost six million was blowing in at the RLDC office over at the ballpark. [Read more…]
Last night, many of the Preserve Ramapo faithful showed up at the Water Wheel restaurant in Tallman to celebrate the conviction of one of the most disastrous politicians in Ramapo’s long 226-year history. The former supervisor, Christopher St. Lawrence, was found guilty of 20 federal charges of bond fraud and will be sentenced in September. The damage caused by St. Lawrence’s abuses go well beyond those spelled out in the criminal charges that will remove him from the community. [Read more…]