There is no joy in Ramapo — at least there shouldn’t be. Vindication, yes. But the federal arrest at dawn Thursday of Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence portends poorly for the town’s current and future finances, to say nothing of the town’s reputation.
St. Lawrence must step down, immediately, along with all other officials who get swept up in this latest scandal.
But town taxpayers are still facing a mess. According to U.S Attorney Preet Bharara, St. Lawrence and his co-conspirators “cooked the books” and shuffled money around to make town finances look healthier. No matter what becomes of the federal charges against St. Lawrence, we can be assured, unfortunately, that town taxpayers will be the ones to pay.
This case is the first municipal bond-related securities fraud prosecution ever. But the scheme is as old as the hills — the manipulation of the public trust to gain power.
St. Lawrence must go, now, along with any other town official implicated in this mess. It would be at least some salve for the financial wounds that federal authorities say have been inflicted on the town and its taxpayers.
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