“Councilman Samuel Tress was arrested Thursday afternoon for voting to back a zoning change on a housing development he held a financial stake in — even though he had signed an affidavit stating he wouldn’t profit from his decisions as a Zoning Board of Appeals member. Tress, 71, who has a previous felony conviction, faces a felony charge of first-degree offering a false instrument and a misdemeanor count of official misconduct, according to the Rockland District Attorney’s Office.Tress faces up to four years in prison if convicted of the top count. District Attorney’s Office detectives had been scrutinizing Tress’s vote on May 4, 2015, to approve multiple variances for what was then a single-family house at 142 Blauvelt Road, District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said. Tress cast the deciding vote to grant eight zoning variances for 142 Blauvelt Road in Monsey, prosecutors said, while failing to disclose to his financial interest in the property. Tress on May 14, 2015 had filed a disclosure affirmation with the town asserting that he had not and would not engage in any activity that would provide a personal or pecuniary gain to himself in relation to his duties as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, prosecutors contend.St. Lawrence declined to comment Thursday on his running mate and political ally, referring questions to Town Attorney Michael Klein. The grassroots political party Preserve Ramapo provided Zugibe’s office with more than 100 pages of documents on Tress during a meeting last month.” Read the complete Journal News coverage here.
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