“Some 60 prospective jurors are being called to U.S. District Court in White Plains on Wednesday for potential service in the corruption trial of Ramapo town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Lawyers will pick 12 jurors and four alternates. Opening statements could come as soon as Thursday.
St. Lawrence, the town supervisor for nearly 17 years, faces a 22-count federal grand jury indictment charging him with committing securities fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud. A conviction could boot him from office.
Prosecutors claim St. Lawrence falsely inflated the town’s general fund to get better rates on bonds to finance a minor-league baseball stadium and other projects, such as the Ramapo Commons townhouses on Elm Street.
On Monday, Judge Cathy Seibel ruled on a number of remaining pre-trial matters in the case, including denying a request by St. Lawrence’s attorney, Michael Burke, for a 30-day delay.
There was also discussions surrounding several witnesses in the case. Seibel ruled that the defense will not be able to question the mental state of one key witness, Melissa Reimer, including raising the fact she was taking anti-depressants. Reimer is a suspended town finance official who had audio-taped conversations with town officials.
She claims in a federal lawsuit against the town that she’s been targeted with civil-service charges for bringing information to the FBI.
The pre-trial hearing also saw confirmation that former Ramapo Councilman Daniel Friedman, who is believed to have died in a jump from the Bear Mountain Bridge, had been a witness in the case. The judge said the information Friedman had provided to authorities, which was not described, could potentially be used at the trial under certain circumstances.
Aaron Troodler (Executive Dorector of the Ramapo Local Development Corp) pleaded guilty to the charges and has agreed to to testify against St. Lawrence in hopes of getting a less severe sentence.”
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