Alex Lichtenstein Charged with Bribery

POMONA – U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, announced that, 44 year old, Alex Lichtenstein, of Pomona has been charged with one count of bribery and one count of conspiracy. The charge alleges that within the NYC Police Department’s License Division, Lichtenstein used connections to secure 150 gun licenses that in turn were resold to customers. Recently, those police connections stopped providing the licenses and in early April, it is alleged that Lichtenstein then bribed a different source in the police department paying $6,000 per gun license application he could obtain. That officer referred the offense to city police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau. A sting operation set up by the Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation recorded a conversation between Lichtenstein and a police officer in regards to obtaining gun licenses for money. The US Attorney’s office stated that Lichtenstein was a member of the Borough Park Shomrim, “a volunteer, ostensibly unarmed Orthodox Jewish patrol society whose mission includes combating criminal activity and locating missing people.” The penalty for bribery is 10 years in prison and a maximum of 5 years for conspiracy. The investigation is ongoing.

Day Examines THM in Suez Water

ROCKLAND – In coordination with Water Task Force Chairperson Legislator Harriet Cornell, Rockland County Executive, Ed Day, has directed the Task Force on Water Resources Management to discern not only why Rockland residents were recently told that water supplied by Suez, formerly United Water, failed to meet stringent federal standards, but also what we can do differently to ensure our drinking water is 100 percent safe. Higher than normal concentrations of THM (trihalomethane) were found in tap water in the Haverstraw area that came from Lake Deforest, Rockland’s primary reservoir. THM is a byproduct of disinfectants that must be used to make sure water is safe. While there is no immediate health risk Executive Day, would like to know more about why the levels exceeded the guidelines set by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Day is asking when Suez first learned about the elevated levels, how and why did it happen, and why did it take one month to inform customers? He would like to make sure it doesn’t happen again. This most recent incident at Suez is part of the reason for the creation of the Task Force on Water Resources Management. The Rockland County Department of Health will continue to watch the situation and ensure that Suez takes action to bring the average levels back into compliance with federal standards. The Water Task Force has been directed to hear your concerns, partner with professionals in our health department and answer the questions surrounding the elevated THM levels.

Doris Roberts dies, 90

LOS ANGELES – Doris Roberts, five-time Emmy Award winning actress, best known for her role as Raymond’s mother on Everybody Loves Raymond, has died. Robert’s acting career began in 1952 with a role on the TV series Studio One. A veteran actress, Roberts appeared in numerous television shows and films spanning a 60-year career. She had recurring roles on Remington Steele, and guest stars on “Love Boat” “Murder She Wrote” “Fantasy Island” and the “Mary Tyler Moore” show. She began her career as a stage actress appearing in The Desk Set with Shirley Booth and Neil Simon’s The Last of the Red Hot Lovers with James Coco and Linda Lavin. In 2002, she testified before a U.S. Congressional panel that age discrimination was prevalent in Hollywood.   In 2005, Roberts received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of South Carolina. A committed animal rights advocate, Roberts worked with the group Puppies Behind Bars, an organization that works with inmates in training guide dogs and assistance for the physically disabled. Her co-star on Raymond, Patricia Heaton, tweeted, “Truly the end of an era. My wonderful TV mother-in-law and ELR nemesis Doris Roberts was a consummate professional from whom I learned so much. She was funny and tough and loved life, living it to the fullest.” Doris Roberts was 90.

Tax Day!

Just a reminder, the 2016 income tax deadline is today, rather than the traditional April 15th date, thanks to a holiday marked only in Washington D.C.
According to the IRS up to 25 percent of people file at the last minute. If you are one of them — and you need help or have questions – you can contact the New York Tax Call Center until 7:30 pm. The number is 518-457-5181.
Emancipation Day is a holiday in Washington D.C. that marks the anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed more than 3000 slaves in Washington D.C. It was signed into law by President Lincoln on April 16, 1862.

T-Z Bridge Update

Get ready for lane closures as work on the Tappan Zee Bridge cashless toll system continues near Exit 10 southbound on the Thruway and the Tarrytown toll plaza.
Expect midday lane closures southbound on the Tappan Zee Bridge today and tomorrow, and some closures in the northbound lanes Wednesday and Thursday.
The cashless toll system is slated to start Friday night April 22nd with the Thruway authority flipping the switch after midnight on Saturday.
The transition will create lane closures on the southbound Thruway between exit 10 and exit 9 during the overnights of Friday, April 22nd and Saturday, April 23rd. Work will also require the exit 10 on-ramp to be closed overnight on the 23rd. You’ll also see occasional traffic stops on all four lanes of the southbound Thruway from exit 11 (Nyack – South Nyack – US Route 9W) to the bridge between 11 pm and 5 am.

White Collar Theft

In Bergen County, the prosecutor’s office says “Brandon” Yoon, a 40 year-old Edgewater resident, was charged with “computer related theft and theft by deception.” The White Collar Crimes Unit was notified by Fort Lee police of a reported embezzlement of $1.6 million from the bank accounts of Southpole / Wicked Fashions, a Fort Lee clothing company.
YOON worked as an accountant for the company until December 2015. Yoon is accused of accessing company funds since 2011 to pay personal expenses including his mortgage, a car lease, rent, and credit card bills. Yoon reportedly continued to access business accounts even after he left the company. He was arrested at his home in Edgewater, NJ and jailed on $250,000 bail.

DWI Arrest

Orangetown police charged a Nanuet man with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident Thursday after he was allegedly involved in a car accident and tested triple the legal limit for alcohol.
Police say 32 year-old Michael Malm got into an accident on Middletown Road in Pearl River. Malm reportedly fled the scene but was nabbed a short time later by police.
Police say Malm’s breath smelled of alcohol and he failed numerous field sobriety tests. He was arrested, released on bail and is due back in court in May.

Ramapo Arrests Update

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is reportedly calling for more oversight of Land Development Corporations in the wake of the arrest of Ramapo Supervisor Chris St. Lawrence last week. DiNapoli says the situation supports the need for “more transparency and accountability in the use of LDCs.” St. Lawrence and former Ramapo LDC director Aaron Troodler were arrested Thursday and accused of defrauding taxpayers stemming from the construction of Provident Bank Park.

Ramapo Supervisor and Former LDC Official Arrested on Corruption Charges

The Federal Bureau of Investigation early Thursday morning, arrested a prominent Rockland official on corruption charges. Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence of the town of Ramapo and his office were the focus of an FBI raid on town offices on May 15, 2013 during which federal agents collected evidence and documents. Since then no arrests had been made, or information released. Until this morning when St. Lawrence was officially accused of violating federal laws which reportedly included the possible movement of money between the town and the Local Development Corporation set up to oversee the baseball stadium that was built in the town, as well as overstating assets when paperwork was filed to get a $25 million bond approved to help get the controversial park built. An audit completed by the New York State Comptroller’s Office showed that the expected $25 million cot of the park was actually closer to more than $60 million, a number which the comptroller’s office stated taxpayers could wind up being responsible for. Patrick Withers, the Deputy Supervisor of Ramapo stated that he will ensure the town’s government will continue to run efficiently, though he is not sure whether or not St. Lawrence will continue to run efficiently, though he is not sure whether St. Lawrence will continue his duties. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will be holding a press conference at 11:00 AM, and released a statement early this morning saying that Aaron Troodler was also arrested for signing off on the bond’s paperwork despite it allegedly having untrue information. And both are facing charges of conspiracy in connection to municipal bonds, securities fraud, and wire fraud. Troodler is the former Executive Director of the Ramapo LDC.

Nanuet Man Arrested After Police Pursuit Into New Jersey

According to police a Nanuet man was arrested over the weekend after a car chase that ended in New Jersey. Palisades Interstate Parkway Police stated that 38-year old Michael DePalma allegedly struck a vehicle around 9:00 PM Friday near Exit 7 in Rockland County and drove away from the scene, leading police through Rockland before he was finally stopped at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Police discovered cocaine and Xanax on Depalma’s person and charged him with driving under the influence as well as possession of narcotics paraphernalia and obstructing law enforcement officials. Depalma is being held on $50,000 bail in Bergen County Jail.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

Please click on the image below to view all snow closings for Rockland County.