According to New York City Police a woman accused a former Rockland County Legislator of raping her on Wednesday of last week. Police stated this weekend that the 42-year old woman works with Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and was attending his 60th birthday celebration, after which 70-year old former Legislator Sanford Rubenstein allegedly assaulted her in his Manhattan home. The man resigned from the Legislature in 1998, after serving 20 years, and now works as an attorney representing clients in several police brutality and civil rights cases. Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, who worked closely with Rubenstein during the 80’s and 90’s stated that he doesn’t believe the accusations against the man. NYPD is investigating the claims and no charges have been filed yet.
According to police three men broke into a home on Dunnigan Drive in Pomona this weekend. Police stated that around 3:30 Saturday morning the men dressed in dark hoodies, one armed with a gun, broke into the residence and it was reported that the father in the household of three was attacked and hit over the head with the weapon. He was transported to the hospital and his condition has not been released. Police have not stated what was taken from the home, and are continuing from the home, and are continuing to search for the men, who are considered armed and dangerous.
Rockland Community College was evacuated on Thursday morning, after a bombthreat was emailed to the school around 9:00 AM on. According to Rockland County’s Sheriff’s Office Chief William Barbera the police and Rockland Bomb Unit used a special K-9 unit to search the 16-building campus for any signs of explosives and the department took the threat very seriously. The search ended at 12:10 and classes were reopened for the evening at 5:00 PM after the email proved to be a hoax. The Rockland Computer Crimes Unit is attempting to track the sender.
According to a recent report issued by the Public Transportation Safety Board, a division within the New York State Department of Transportation, the driver of a Breaga Transport Bus that caught fire and was evacuated on February 8, and the dispatcher that he contacted, are at fault for the incident. The report states that the driver was unable to identify the situation and take actions to prevent the fire. According to reports filed by Brega at the time of the incident the driver smelled burning and got off the bus to check the outside, then called his dispatcher, and when the driver reached Pearl River he heard a dripping noise followed by an explosion in the right rear wheel well and the fire. The state’s report also points to the dispatcher, stating that they did not have the skills to make a decision to evacuate the bus immediately and take it out of service, when the driver first reported the smell. County Executive Ed Day’s spokesman Scott Salotto stated, “Despite apparent negligence by Brega personnel, we expect additional training and safety practices put in place by the operator will prevent similar incidents in the future.” After the incident a proposal to spend nearly $300,000 a year on daily washing for the bus was presented by Legislator Patrick Moroney, creating controversy within the County Government and residents, some who believe it is a waste of funds, others who believe it is a necessary safety expense. The Legislature is meeting Tuesday, where they will have the opportunity to override Day’s veto of the proposal and stated that they will make the decision public by Friday.
A Nyack man who is an attorney in Manhattan was arrested after he was accused of bribing an employee of the New York City Justice Agency for referring clients to him. According to New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance, 56-year old Dwane Smith of Nyack paid Jose Nunez of the Justice Agency $200 to $1,000 for each referral to his firm, which includes services of criminal law, between August 2013 and now. According to Vance, Smith was arrested on felony charges of second-degree bribery, four counts of third-degree bribery, and five counts of secon-degree rewarding official misconduct.
On Wednesday Rockland County Legislator Frank Sparaco announced that he ha formally subitted his resignation as Confidential Secretary for Wayne Ballard, Clarkstown’s Highway Superintendent. Sparaco was hired on July 1 after Ballard’s former confidential secretary of sixteen years Nancy Willen decided to retire and his first position with the Highway Department as a Constituent Services Representative ended on June 30 when three boar members voted to eliminate funding for the job. The Confidential Secretary position payed Sparaco $103,600 a year, and he earns $32,000 a year as a Legislator, he stated on Wednesday that he does not have another job yet but he is ready to move forward to something new. Last month Sparaco attempted to make control of the Clarkstown GOP Committee, unsuccessfully losing the open spots to supporters of County Executive Ed Day and former County Republican Party Chairman Vincent Reda, who recently retired. Lawrence Garvey of Nyack took Reda’s place in the position. Ballard stated that he will be filling Sparaco’s job soon and wishes him luck in the future.
County Executive Ed Day released a press statement on Wednesday morning formally requesting that District Attorney Thomas Zugibe begin an investigation into claims of election fraud at Tuesday’s ward referendum. In Day’s letter to Zugibe he states that complaints and questions have flooded his office since the polls opened at 6:00 AM yesterday, including criminal allegations directed at an unknown caller who has been contacting various residents in the county, allegedly claiming to be from the Rockland County Board of Elections and urging that people vote no against the ward system. The claims were looked into by local reporter Richard Gandon of the Rockland Star, who called the number and posted the audio on the Star’s website. In the call you can hear a woman answer by saying simply, “Elections”. Gandon then asks twice in the audio if it is the Rockland County Board of Elections to which the woman replies both times yes. Gandon stated to WRCR, “I didn’t really expect anyone to actually say they were from the Board of Elections but I called anyway I was shocked when not once, but twice she said that I had reached the Board of Elections and had no problem suggesting how I should vote.” In Day’s letter he asks that the District Attorney investigate these claims as well as allegations of improper handling of affidavit and absentee ballots, the disenfranchisement of voters who appeared to be of Latin origin, voters being turned away from the polls, and certain views being promoted at the polls.
Today is the day Ramapo Town Voters head to the polls to vote yes or no on changing to a ward system that would allow them to choose future representatives based on the area they live and on a second referendum that would increase the town board members from four to six. Opponents of the ward system have stated that the increase in officials will also increase taxes, while proponents state the higher number will allow each resident in every area of town to have better representation. According to Town Clerk Christian Sampson state law requires that absentee ballots for today’s vote can only be counted if it gets to the clerk’s office before 5:00 PM today, though in other elections ballots postmarked by the day of the vote can be counted. Sampson stated that this could cause some confusion and his office will be continue working on a plan to count votes. Last week a state Supreme Court Justice ruled that poll watchers were not required for the vote, and town officials have decided not to use them, against much opposition from activists and state officials. The polling stations are open 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM and voters can go to their general election sites.
A Haverstraw man was arrested by Spring Valley Police during a patrol being completed by officers as a part of a state funded crime reduction plan. Police stated that 32-year old Jimmy Bousiquot was sitting in a parked Mercedes-Benz on Ewing Ave around 12:30 Sunday morning when officers found a loaded glock in the car and charged him with second-degree criminal possession of weapon, a felony, and unlawful possession of marijuana. A 24-year old passenger was also charged with possession of marijuana and was released. Boursiquot was taken to county jail and is being held on $10,000 bail.
Police responded to an accident in Stony Point on Friday night after receiving calls that a car had crashed into a utility pole, leading to a power outage in several areas of town. Stony Point resident 17-year old Sean Delgado was arrested and charged with driving while impaired, a misdemeanor and assault in the second and third degrees, both felonies after his car went off the road. In the accident a 17-year old passenger was thrown from the car and suffered critical injuries, responders took him to Nyack Hospital before he was transferred to Westchester Medical. Two other passengers were taken to Nyack Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.