Journal News coverage of day eight of the trial,
April 2, 2017
“The world I was in, the culture at Town Hall, was that everything was always justified. Everyone said things were fine. Essentially I knew things weren’t right.”–Aaron Troodler
On the stand: Troodler, who began testifying late Friday, wrapped up his testimony on Tuesday afternoon. The 43-year-old Pennsylvania resident pleaded guilty in March in the case, admitting to securities fraud and conspiracy charges and agreeing to cooperate with the prosecution. He was followed by Nelson Sheingold, deputy comptroller for investigations for the New York State Comptroller’s office.
Key testimony: In addition to asking Troodler under cross-examination about the $3.08 million that was supposedly to be paid to Ramapo for property sales by the RLDC, defense lawyer Michael Burke asked him about another $3.66 million payment supposedly received by the town from the RLDC for the purchase of the land on which the baseball stadium was to be built.
Troodler, who testified Monday that the land was transferred from the town to the RLDC for free, said he was never aware the town had put a revenue line connected to a supposed stadium land sale on its books.
He acknowledged that he had signed things he did not read first, which he agreed was not responsible behavior for an attorney. He also admitted, under questioning from Burke, that he had never told the Securities and Exchange Commission that he had taken an accounting course in law school, but said he had simply forgotten to mention it.
Troodler said he initially lied to the SEC about his role in the financial schemes because he wanted to protect his job and his family, which he said was also his reason for coming clean and changing his story after he was arrested. He said he initially was also protective of his colleagues and St. Lawrence.
He said after he was arrested he began looking at things through a much different lens.
“The world I was in, the culture at Town Hall, was that everything was always justified. Everyone said things were fine. Essentially I knew things weren’t right,” he said. “Every time the RLDC needed to make a payment there was a mad rush. Every time, the supervisor had to come up with a way to make the payments.”
“It took me a while to realize I did something wrong.”
Sheingold testified briefly about letters sent to the state comptroller’s office by St. Lawrence, who was seeking permission to negotiate the sale of bond anticipation notes to targeted investors in the spring of 2013 rather than putting them out on the open market. The comptroller’s office signed off on that request, he said.
Up next: Another official from Jeffries, the underwriter on the bonds, is expected to take the stand on Wednesday, as well as a representative of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, who will speak about site work needed for the stadium and Ramapo Commons projects. The trial is taking place daily from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with a half-hour break at midday; this Friday the proceedings will be shorter, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.”
Read the complete Journal News article with a full set of links to all the coverage so far here.