“Anthony Mallia, the former Ramapo building inspector charged with 188 counts of undercharging contractors for permits and shortchanging taxpayers by $150,000 in the process, won’t serve jail time and won’t have to make restitution, a judge decided today.
Mallia, 53, pleaded guilty to two counts. He pleaded guilty to first-degree tampering with public records, a felony, and was promised by the judge a sentence of five years probation. He also pleaded guilty to official misconduct and will received three years probation. The sentences will be be served concurrently when Mallia is sentenced Oct. 31. He waived his right to appeal.
The former inspector pleaded guilty after Rockland County Court Judge David Zuckerman decided Mallia would not serve time behind bars. The prosecution deferred to Zuckerman’s discretion on sentencing.
The details were worked out during a conference with Executive Assistant District Attorney Richard Kennison Moran and defense attorneys David Goldstein and Stacey Richman. The non-prison sentence was a requirement of Mallia’s lawyers.
Zuckerman called it “a very generous disposition.”
“Your lawyers worked very hard for you,” Zuckerman told Mallia in open court. “Your lawyers convinced me to do something I was not going to do today. I would opine they are very persuasive.”
Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said his office got a guilty plea to a felony charge.
“Another public servant has been brought to justice and removed from office,” Zugibe said. “Nothing erodes the confidence of the public more than corruption on the part of people in public office. Individuals who abuse their positions they will be arrested, convicted and removed from office.”
Zugibe said while he remains confident that the majority of public officials in Rockland are honest and hard-working, “we still have much work to be completed.”
Mallia admitted, under questioning from the prosecutor, that he tampered with records from January 2015 and Feb. 26, 2016.
Standing between his two lawyers, Mallia answered questions from the judge and prosecutor, saying “yes” when asked if he understood the plea offer.
Outside the courthouse, asked to comment on the plea, Mallia told The Journal News/lohud.com afterward: “What am I supposed to say? I’m glad it’s over.”
Mallia will not have to repay the $150,000 the district attorney said was lost to taxpayers.Bottom of Form
Moran said, “There was no evidence Mr. Mallia obtained any financial benefit as a result of these crimes.”
Robert Romanowski, a Ramapo resident who has been following the case closely, said, “Considering the charges that were against him, I feel he received a very favorable disposition from the court.”
He said he hopes Ramapo — which has endured the charging of its supervisor, a town councilman and Mallia — can recover from this.
He said activists in the Preserve Ramapo group have been saying the town is corrupt for years and Monday’s plea feeds that narrative.
“It’s very discouraging when you find out that public officials have betrayed the trust of their job,” Romanowski said.
Michael Castelluccio, a Preserve Ramapo website editor, said he remains “puzzled” by the non-prison outcome, given the number of counts.
“When you deal, there’s usually something given by both sides, isn’t there?” Castelluccio said. “There’s something missing here, and I don’t mean just the $150k lifted from the residents.”
Richman, the defense attorney, said she was “pleased with the outcome for our client and the community.”
The felony tampering charged carried a potential prison term of 2 1/3 to 7 years; the misdemeanor misconduct could have landed him in jail for one year. But the deal agreed to on Monday takes that off the table.”
Read the complete coverage in LoHud online here.