Ramapo’s ex-police chief, who had been the highest paid local public employee in the state, also ran a private security firm on the side, using town resources, a Journal News/lohud.com investigation has found.
Peter Brower, who raked in roughly $369,000 a year, used his Police Department secretary to prepare payroll for his private business, he testified in 2014. Brower also testified that he “possibly” used telephones in the Police Department for the job.
Asked by The Journal News whether he did a second job while working as police chief, Brower said, “That may or may not be so.”
When asked again, he said, “That may or may not be so, but is there anything illegal about that?”
Brower testified under oath during a deposition in a gender-discrimination lawsuit brought by police Sgt. Margaret Sammarone that was dropped last year. During that deposition, he was asked about his job running security for Pierson Lakes, an exclusive gated community on more than 1,000 acres in Sloatsburg with multimillion-dollar homes.
His testimony raises questions about whether he did a second job on town time and whether the job in his department’s jurisdiction created any conflicts with him carrying out his police duties. Ramapo police have jurisdiction over Pierson Lakes.
The entrance to Pierson Lakes in Sloatsburg (Photo: John Meore/The Journal News)
Told about the testimony by The Journal News, a town councilman who wasn’t aware of the specifics of Brower’s second job said he’d ask the town attorney to investigate. Michael Castelluccio, an activist with Preserve Ramapo, a political action group, is calling for a law-enforcement probe.
Brower, who retired in September after 45 years with the department, told The Journal News that his testimony about using the secretary to prepare payroll was “incorrect,” but declined to clarify it. He no longer provides security for Pierson Lakes, the property management company said. On its website, the community on Sterling Mine Road says it’s patrolled by security 24 hours a day.
“How did this matter come to your attention?” Brower repeatedly asked a reporter.
Read the complete Journal News story here.