“Disgraced former Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence is due to be released from the federal prison system on Friday.
St. Lawrence, a Democrat who served as Ramapo’s supervisor from 2000 to May 2016, was convicted by a federal jury in May 2017 of 20 counts of securities and wire fraud, and conspiracy, in a scheme to finance the town baseball stadium.
St. Lawrence was sentenced to 30 months — federal rules allow shortened terms for good behavior. He was also fined $75,000.
St. Lawrence surrendered in March 2018 and served his sentence in a low-security facility in Pennsylvania. He was moved to a Brooklyn halfway house in August 2019.
The federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed on Tuesday that St. Lawrence, 69, was currently in “community confinement,” which can mean an inmate is either on home confinement, with monitoring, or in a halfway house, officially known as a Residential Reentry Center.
“For safety reasons, we do not specify an individual’s specific location,” a Bureau of Prisons spokesman said Tuesday.
Inmates in community confinement can go on job interviews and leave for other activities with permission from the RRC.
The federal system does not have parole; as of Friday, St. Lawrence is done with his federal sentence.
Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht declined to comment on Tuesday.
There was no information on where St. Lawrence would settle.
Department of Federal Prisons Location Card for soon-to-be ex-convict St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence was long a controversial figure in Rockland County. He portrayed himself as an environmental champion and purchased land to preserve open space but allowed rapid downzoning in the eastern portion of the town.
Lax enforcement of building code issues during his tenure fed a growing resentment by some Ramapo and Rockland citizens who questioned St. Lawrence’s seemingly omnipresent power.
Often, that resentment focused on what became known as the “bloc vote.” In Ramapo, a growing Orthodox Jewish population has had a tendency toward high voter turnout and nearly universal ballot choice. The so-called bloc vote is often courted by politicians on every level. But the frequent support of St. Lawrence fed rhetoric against the powerful voting bloc.
St. Lawrence championed the ballpark project that would later feed his downfall. Even after an ill-timed August 2010 vote showed little community support for securing financing for the project, he still found a way to finance what became the home of the independent league Rockland Boulders, now New York Boulders. The stadium is known as the Palisades Credit Union Park and the facility is part of the town’s parks system.
While St. Lawrence maintained that the project was fiscally responsible, a state comptroller’s report pegged the cost of its construction as topping $60 million.”
[Editor’s note: The ballpark has been losing in the neighborhood of $1m a year, and this year, organized baseball has already cancelled the Minor League system for 2020, and most assume that would include the Independent League as well. The Boulders are an Independent League team, not a Minor League franchise.]
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