State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Monday that The Mental Health Association of Rockland County must pay $304,000 in a lawsuit regarding faulty Medicaid record keeping before a 2009 state audit. Prior to that year, employees changed records to match the filings submitted in the state Medicaid claims. The investigation began based on a lawsuit brought by two former employees detailing the falsified records. $250,000 will go to penalties under state and federal claims with the remainder relating to doctored progress notes and plans for the Continuing Day Treatment program which was discontinued in 2012. County Executive Ed Day communicated his concern with public healthcare programs by saying, “Dishonesty within our Medicaid system diverts precious taxpayer dollars, drives up the cost of health care and jeopardizes the strength of a program the serves our most vulnerable residents.”
33 Year-old Michael Sosser was arrested Monday night after being charged with stealing from the town buildings he worked at as a custodian. Sosser had keys to the police department and Town Hall and for several years had been stealing items which Officers confiscated from his home. He was charged with two felony counts of third-degree burglary and two misdemeanor counts of petit larceny. With the criminal charges comes disciplinary measures by the Town Board which could lead to his ultimate dismissal. Sosser is currently on administrative leave with pay while the police investigation continues and a hearing date is set.
According to police a student was stabbed at Spring Valley High School this morning. The incident occurred around 9:00 AM and police put the entire school into lockdown as they continue to investigate. The boy was stabbed several times and was taken to Nyack hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police stated that they have the suspect in custody but are not releasing any more information at this time.
Former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin is requesting that the trial for the corruption case against her be held without a jury. According to papers filed with the court on Monday, Jasmin is asking that her case be heard by a judge with no jury, stating in a letter to Judge Kenneth Karas that she feels it will be better understood by a court without a jury. According to the records a jury twelve would need to agree unanimously on a charge and the defendant can choose not to use one in Federal court. Jasmin was arrested in 2013 after being accused of accepting bribes in exchange for political favors along with former Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret who pleaded in January of 2014.
Firefighters responded to a call in Congers on Monday afternoon, where a single-family home was engulfed in flames. Volunteers climbed through snow and brush to get to the house, and according to officials spent nearly two hours putting out the fire that was burning on three floors. With smoke and flames burning through the roof firefighters from Congers, West Nyack, Central Nyack, New City, Haverstraw, West Haverstraw, Thiells, and Valley Cottage battles to save the building, which was later deemed uninhabitable and was home at the time and firefighters rescued the owner’s dog.
In a one-year pilot program by Brega Transport starting today, Transport of Rockland (TOR) will be equipped with four additional, 19-passenger buses to run on the smaller routes, Loop #1, 2, and 3 at no additional cost to the county. The smaller buses with have the same appearance, wheelchair accessibility, and fare boxes as the current buses.Officials will gauge the outcome of the new smaller vehicles, comparing them to maintenance issues with the current fleet. Anticipated improvements include better efficiency due to lower cost of vehicles and fuel usage, as well as overall transportation flexibility.
Justin Headley, 28, of Katonah, was arrested Friday evening after an attempted theft and assault outside the H&M store in the Palisades Center. Two store employees stopped Headley after seeing him fill a bag with unpaid clothing and walking out. A scuffle broke out during the confrontation but the store staff were able to contain him until Clarkstown Police arrived, one employee allegedly sustaining a broken finger. Earlier today, Headley was charged with second-degree robbery and assault, petit larceny, possession of burglary tools, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. His bail is set at $50,000 at the Rockland County Jail where he awaits a court appearance on March 11.
Sunday evening at around 9:20pm, 61 year-old Solomon Diamant was hit by a gold colored sedan at the intersection of Route 45 and Washington Avenue in New Square. The vehicle was traveling northbound on Route 45 and struck Diamant, sustaining injuries to his chest, face, and head. He was transported via Hatzolah Ambulence where his serious but non-life threatening injuries are being treated at Westchester Medical Center. The vehicle, a gold, four-door sedan may have damage to the front right end and a broken or missing passenger side mirror. Anyone with information regarding the accident should contact the Accident Investigation Unit at 357-2400.
According to prosecutors in the case against former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin, who was arrested after being accused of attempting to accept bribes in exchange of political favors, is facing new accusations. Prosecution filed court papers last week asking to submit evidence in the corruption trial that was collected in 2011 using an undercover FBI agent as well as local developer Moses Stern, who cooperated with the agency and wore a wire while discussing alleged deals with the former Mayor. According to the evidence Jasmin was recorded asking Stern to use a favor to dispose of 60 absentee ballots in the 2011 Board of Trustees election to ensure that her choice candidate wouldn’t lose. No charges have been filed regarding the new accusations in the trial.
Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack announced last week, a plan to get a greater police presence in Rockland and Westchester County malls. Gromack is requesting $94.5 million dollars for an increase in police funding statewide, following recent terrorist threats against shopping centers throughout the country, which would provide at least $2 million for each mall. Gromack stated at a conference that the money would not be used to reduce law enforcement budgets, but to add services to malls in the area. Clarkstown has two major shopping centers, the Palisades Center Mall and the Shops at Nanuet, and according to Gromack extra police could not be funded by their real estate and sales tax revenue, and additional funding in the state budget is necessary. The New York budget was already presented by Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this year is being reviewed for approval by the Legislature.