“The indictments of Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and a former assistant town attorney could bolster efforts for greater state oversight of nonprofits that municipalities set up to finance development projects.
St. Lawrence and Aaron Troodler, who was the executive director of the Ramapo Local Development Corporation, are accused of defrauding taxpayers and bond investors through their efforts to get a controversial minor league baseball stadium built in town.
“The situation in Ramapo reaffirms the need for more transparency and accountability in the use of LDCs,” state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement. “Now more than ever, we need to examine these entities to ensure they are using public money appropriately and operating within the law to promote economic development.”
For several years, DiNapoli has cited the ballpark project as he pushed for legislation that would give him authority to audit local development corporations, or LDCs. It was initially passed by the Senate but died in the Assembly. Then it was passed in the Assembly but died in the Senate. It is now back before the Senate’s Local Government committee.”
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