Aaron Troodler’s guilty plea confirms troubles in town. The buck stops with the supervisor, who still faces similar federal charges.
“The surprise guilty plea by Aaron Troodler, former executive director of the Ramapo Local Development Corporation, demonstrates the “reprehensible corruption” that Ramapo residents fear. Troodler, by admitting to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, validates that the town’s leadership has failed. And the buck stops with Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence. He must resign, so Ramapo can move forward.
Troodler, who also was assistant town attorney, was indicted along with St. Lawrence in April 2016. Both were accused of securities and wire fraud and conspiracy. The scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, revolves around fishy financing for a baseball stadium and other projects developed through the town’s Ramapo Development Corp., which St. Lawrence chaired.
St. Lawrence, like Troodler, stands accused of manipulating facts and figures so the town’s finances looked rosy. Such fabrications could ensure lower interest rates for municipal borrowing, lure investors and fool town residents whose tax money was being misused. In other words, it was an elaborate shell game with multiple dupes. The reality, now apparent, is that the town’s finances were crumbling.
St. Lawrence deserves his day in court. And that comes in mid-April, when the supervisor is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in White Plains. But the actions that Troodler has admitted, in his guilty plea, happened under St. Lawrence’s watch, as leader of both the town and the RLDC. No matter the final determination of federal charges, St. Lawrence can no longer lead an entity that has been so damaged during his tenure.”
Read the complete Journal News editorial here.