Legislator Frank Sparaco Arrested for Petition Fraud

According to reports the District Attorney’s office arrested Rockland County Legislator Frank Sparaco on Monday afternoon on multiple felony counts of first-degree criminal possession of a forged instruments and first-degree filing a false instrument and misdemeanor misconduct charges. The 38-year old Republican Legislator filed petitions this past summer in an attempt to have his supporters elected to the Clarkstown Republican Committee, in the end losing control of the party to supporters of County of the party to supporters of County Executive Ed Day. According to the District Attorney’s investigation into claims of petition irregularities, they also discovered that Sparaco claimed to be renting a room in his home in Valley Cottage to his cousins, though allegations state that he was falsely doing so to allow the two men to vote in Clarkstown. Sparaco stated during his arraignment that he will be hiring a lawyer and the Judge ordered him to return to court on December 8 and that he be released without bail.

Car Destroys Front of West Haverstraw Building

Police responded to a call around 4:00 PM Friday after an SUV lost control and crashed into a building. According to officials a Ford Explorer lost control and crashed into another car that was being moved at an autorepair shop on Route 9W in West Haverstraw. The SUV seriously damaged the building and firefighters responded to save the roof from collapsing. There has been no news on the condition of the driver who was taken to Nyack Hospital, and no one inside the garage was injured.

Legislature Budget and Finance Meeting Draws Protests

The Legislature met on Thursday night to review County Executive Ed Day’s proposed $772 million budget for 2015. The proposal would cut 111 county employees to save $6.8 million, including 37 within the Sheriff’s Patrol Units. Thursday’s Budget and Finance Committee meeting drew hundreds of residents and sheriff’s officers to the county office building in New City to protest the County Executive’s decisions and express their support for Sheriff Lou Falco, who has continuously voiced his disagreement with the cuts. According to Falco the layoffs would be done by seniority, which would disrupt county operations provided by specialized units such as arson, mounted, marine, an street patrols, and the bomb unit. Town Supervisors have worried over the past few weeks that the extra cost of losing Sheriff’s officers would fall on their residents. With Day’s budget proposal property taxes in the county would increase by two percent. Over the last three year taxes have increased by the double-digits, and Day stated that though unfortunate, cuts are necessary to get the county in check by paying $10 million dollars as part of the Deficit Reduction Law passed by the Legislature in 2012.

Rockland Finances Hold on to Positive Outlook

According to a report in the Journal News the Moody’s Investor Service has upheld their positive outlook rating for Rockland County finances, despite worries surrounding the sale of the Summit Park Nursing Home. County Executive Ed Day stated that the rating means good things for the county, but only if Rockland can continue on the budgeting path that led to this year’s financial improvement. Along with the sale of the hospital and nursing care center, Rockland Commissioner of Finance Stephen DeGroat stated to the news source that the county will also be looking to refinance a $17.7 million loan to apply to the debt, giving the county a debt service savings of $700,000 to $800,000. In July Moody’s raised Rockland’s rating from a Baa3 stable outlook to a Baa2 positive outlook, a huge leap from the junk status the county was facing in recent years.

Election Results on WRCR

The unofficial results from Tuesday’s election are in- New York State Governor Democrat Andrew Cuomo was reelected with Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Asterino conceding the race. The comptroller race results show Thomas Dinapoli as the winner over Robert Antonacci. New York Attorney General Eric Scheiderman won against Republican Candidate John Cahill, and Senator David Carlucci was reelected as well, facing off against Republican Donna Held. Senator Bill Larkin was reelected as well over Gay Lee. For Congress, the much anticipated race between Republican newcomer Chris Day and Democratic incumbent Nita Lowey resulted in Lowey’s win. Democrat Ken Zebrowski won reelection for the 96th Assembly District over Matthew Brennan, for the 97th Assembly District Ellen Jaffee won over Robert Romanowski, for the 98th District Elisa Tutini won over Karl Brabenec, and James Skoufis won the 99th Assembly District over Richard Cocchiara. For Suffern Village Trustee, Edward Markunas and Robert Morris were elected, for Spring Valley Trustee, Vilair Fonvil and Eudson Tyson Francois were elected. David Stein won the Ramapo town Justic race and for Suffern Justice, Ernest Buonocore won. For State Supreme Court Justice, Montgomery Delaney beat James Hubert. Democrat Rolf Thorsen won County Court Judge over Republican Mike Koplen and taking County Executive Ed Day’s former seat in the legislature is Republican Lon Hofstein beating Democrat Barry Kantrowitz, who was appointed to the position in January. Proposition One was passed with 140 to 90 votes, Proposition Two passed 158 to 71, Proposition Three passed 121 to 114, and the controversial Proposition Four passed 113 to 110 votes.

Body in Stony Point Park Identified

Stony Point Police have identified the body of Pomona resident who was found dead underneath the James Farley Memorial Bridge in Charles S. Eccher Park around 6:45 PM on Sunday. The Rockland County Medical Examiner is working with detectives to discover the official cause of death of 27-year old Daniel Hansen. Authorities stated there were no signs of foul play at the site and they recovered Hansen’s car in the parking lot of a local business, though it remains unclear how he died.

Rockland Public Transportation Holiday Schedules

Changes in the Rockland County public transportation schedules for Tuesday, November 11, Veteran’s Day have been released. TRIPS buses will be running only A.D.A. Services, TOR and Tappan ZeeXpress will be operating regular weekday schedules. The offices for TRIPS and the Transit Information Center will be closed, along with most county offices. On Tuesday November 4th, Election Day, all public transportation will run on a regular weekday schedule.

Man Killed in Fall at Palisades Mall

According to police a 54-year old disabled man was killed in a fall at the Palisades Mall in West Nyack on Thursday. Police stated that the man, whose name has not been released as of yet, was on a trip with a staff member of the adult home he was a resident of as well as other residents. Around 10:20 AM the man fell 30 to 40 feet from an escalator on the third floor of the building and was killed in the fall. Police are investigating the cause, but stated they are led to believe it was an accident.

26 Arrested and Charged in Rockland and Bergen Bank Fraud

According to the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, Police and FBI arrested multiple suspects in a long running investigation into bank fraud in Rockland and Bergen Counties. District Attorney Thomas Zugibe stated that early Wednesday morning, Police began arresting the 35 people named in warrants, completing 26 individuals by the afternoon. All suspects were involved in buying money orders for between one and three dollars and fraudulently changing them to between 850 to 1,000 dollar valued before depositing them into bank accounts. Zugibe stated that the crimes were conducted as part of a national scam and the quick opening and closing of accounts led them to discover the local ties. The 26 suspects were taken into custody on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of forged instruments, and criminal facilitation of bank fraud. Thirteen were arraignmed Wednesday morning before being released on bail.

House Fire Victims Identified

Officials have released the identities of the couple caught in a house fire in New City on Monday night. 67-year old Luis Fernandez was killed when the home he shared with his wife, 65-year old Ruth Fernandez, caught fire after neighbors heard some sort of explosion around 11:30 PM. Fire officials stated that Mr.Fernandez had gone to the garage searching for the cause of a gasoline smell and became trapped in there with the blast and fire. Mrs.Fernandez managed to escape the house, but was injured and taken to Columbia University Medical Center’s burn unit in Manhattan. The couple has a daughter and grandchildren. Officials are continuing investigation into the cause of the explosion.