By the time he arrived at Airmont Village Court, at 5:10 this afternoon, Ramapo Board Member Shmuel (a.k.a Samuel) Tress had already submitted his resignation to the board, to which he had only recently been elected in January. It was the shortest term in recent memory and was part of a plea agreement to satisfy a felony and Class A misdemeanor charge. Tress resigned this morning according to Chief Ramapo Attorney Michael Klein, who, himself, is facing more than 20 federal charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In Judge Anthony J. Benedict’s court this afternoon, Tress pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and was fined $500 by the court. Assistant District Attorney Richard Moran stood alongside Tress’s attorney at the bar as the Judge explained the terms of the plea to all three. It’s assumed the resolution also involves an agreement not to run for office again in the Town along with the dismissal of the felony charge. Details of the charges are in The Journal News article that follows this one back on the Home page.
Another member of the Ramapo Town Board is facing a much more daunting docket of 22 criminal charges brought by the FBI and the US Prosecutor Preet Bharara. That’s Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, and those charges carry a potential for scores of years in federal prison.
There are six people who used to sit at the table at the Town Board Meetings: Pat Withers, Brendel Logan Charles, Christopher St. Lawrence, Shmuel Tress, Itzy Ullman and Michael Klein. Fifty percent of the six, have been charged with crimes and civil offenses. Only half of Ramapo’s central governing board remain not indicted. Some might say, “Well, it’s Ramapo, so that’s sort of a ‘glass half full.’ ” Most, however, would probably say that’s pathetic and embarrassing, and indicates the need for an extensive and continuing investigation of the entire political structure in the Town.