NY Comptroller Reviews Ed Day’s Budget

According to County Executive Ed Day the New York State Comptroller’s office has approved of his $772 million proposal for the 2015 budget. Day stated that Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s review of the budget commends the positive action being taken and cutting the deficit while remaining under the state’s two percent tax cap. The budget would raise property taxes by only two percent, but would cut 111 county positions as well as funding for several nonprofits. The review states, “We commend county officials for taking positive action to begin reducing the remaining deficit.” and does not order any corrections be made. The County Executive will be holding a public forum to discuss the budget further on Thursday November 20 at the Suffern Free Library at 7:00 PM.

Fifteen People Arrested in Mortgage Scam

According to state officials the FBI arrested 15 people, 12 from the family of 29-year old Yehuda Ruben, in a mortgage scam that brought them $20 million. According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bhahara the people arrested are from Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Orange and Rockland Counties. The indictments carry 21 charges of conspiracy to make false statements, aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, and theft of public money, on at least 20 loand, in which the defendants claimed to be rich and later pleaded bankruptcy to get out of paying them back, using the money to pay credit card bills, and mortgages on other properties, and personal expenses. 53-year old Monsey resident Pinchus Glauber faces charges of fraud for allegedly obtaining public assistance through foodstamps falsely, as well appraising real estate deals in the scam, and lying about property values, though his lawyer Kenneth Gribetz told the Journal News that Glauber is a licensed appraiser and was only compensated for his job.

United Water Denied Surcharge Request

The Public Service Committee unanimously denied United Water New York of their request for surcharges on customer bills to repay the $56 million they claim was spent in preparation for the Hudson River water treatment facility. At the meeting on Thursday the PSC ruled that there isn’t a need for the desal plant at this time, and the company was ordered to stop pursuing permits and to take the next six months working on alternative plans such as conservation with the Rockland County Water Task Force. The surcharges would have added $60 a year to resident’s bills and residents and officials who fought the plant consider this a victory. Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski stated that he is looking forward to working on new policies and thanked the PSC for listening to the ratepayer’s side of the argument.

Absentee Ballots Counted; Results In

The absentee ballots for two close elections in Rockland County were counted yesterday. In Suffern the results for the two trustee seats were too close to call immediately after the November 4 election, and on Wednesday they showed that Republicans Edward Markunas and Robert Morris beat incumbent Democrats Jo Meegan-Corrigan and John Meehan. In the race for the open seat for District 5 in the Rockland Legislature, Republican Lon Hofstein beat appointed Democrat Barry Kantrowitz by 117 votes.

Correction: In earlier reports it was stated that Kantrowitz won by 46 votes. That was incorrect, it was 117 votes.

Sparaco Fired From Clarkstown Highway Position

Legislator Frank Sparaco, who was arrested on Monday on charges of fraud for allegedly submitting forged petitions to the Board of Elections, was fired from his position as confidential secretary to Clarkstown’s Highway Superintendent Wayne Ballard. Ballard appointed Sparaco to the $100,000 a year position earlier this year, and Sparaco had filed his resignation which would have been effective December 31, before the decision was made to let him go. Sparaco is accused of 38 felony counts of forgery and misdemeanor violations of election laws. He will return to court on December 8 and faces a sentence of seven years in prison.

Man Attempted to Lure Young Girl into Truck

According to Ramapo police a teenage girl reported that a man approached her while she was walking alone to her home in Wesley Hills. Police stated that the man, described as a clean shaven Hispanic man with thinning hair and an average build, was driving his white pickup truck when he passed the 14-year old girl on Kentor Lane, as she walked home from her bus stop around 6:00 PM Monday evening, turned the car around, attempting to lure her into the passenger seat. The girl continued walking and informed her parents and the man drove off. Police ask that parents make their children aware of the danger of speaking with strangers and kids should yell and run away if approached.

House Explosion and Fire in Valley Cottage

Police and fire investigators have uncovered the cause of a house fire in Valley Cottage on Monday night. Around 7:45 PM neighbors reported hearing an explosion at the address on Quasepeck Avenue, and police responded to the building completely engulfed in flames. The homeowners made it out of the house without injuries and investigators have determined that a car left idling in the garage caused the explosion. Various news reports have stated that the building was completely destroyed by the blast and fire, and has been deemed uninhabitable.

New City Resident’s Life Saved After Use of a New Heroin Antidote

According to Clarkstown Police, an officer used a newly released Heroin antidote to a woman to save her life on Tuesday. Police stated that a 50 year old New City resident went into respiratory distress after usually a Fentanyl Patch as pain relief, which is more potent than Heroin or Morphine. Around 4:45 in the Morning, an officer administered Narcan, which was distributed to various New York police departments this summer and is made from the drug Naloxone. The woman was able to start breathing on her own after two doses.

Clarkstown and Rockland County Officials Speak Up About Legislator’s Arrest

Clarkstown and Rockland County officials are speaking up about Monday’s arrest of legislator Frank Sparaco on accusations that he submitted forged petitions. In the Journal News, Democratic Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner stated that Sparaco should resign from his elected position due to the 40 charges he faces and constituents deserve a legislator who can focus solely on them. Sparaco faces felony charges for false information in petitions as well as falsely claiming he rented a room in his house to two of his cousins to allow them to vote in Clarkstown. Rockland Republican Committee Chairman Lawrence Garvey stated to the Journal News that election reform needs to be implemented now more than ever, and the Republican Party is taking steps to fight corruption. Sparaco was released without bail on Monday and is set to return to court on December 8th.

Suffern Treasurer Claims Village is Refusing His Insurance

According to the former Treasurer of Suffern, Thomas Zordan, who retired in late September, the village is refusing to pay his health insurance now that he isn’t working for them. Zordan stated to the Journal News that he believed he would be on the village’s health insurance for free for the rest of his life, and was surprised when it expired on November 1. The 55–year old worked for Suffern for the last ten years and according to a village attorney, Lance Klein who spoke with the Rockland newspaper the interim Treasurer Michael Genito found discrepancies and errors in the financial report. Zordan stated that the village is attempting to find reasons to avoid paying his health insurance and he did nothing wrong. Klein stated that retirees are required to pay an unspecified amount to receive coverage and a forensic accountant will be hired to look into claims of financial errors.