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Rockland County, NY - FBI Arrests Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence

Published on: April 14, 2016 08:01 AM
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FILE - Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence standing in front the baseball stadium. News12FILE - Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence standing in front the baseball stadium. News12

Rockland County, NY - Almost three years after an FBI raid swept through the Ramapo Town Hall, federal agents and officials from the district attorney’s office have arrested Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence for violating federal laws in the financing of Provident Bank Park in Pomona.

The 4,500 seat ballpark was constructed in 2012, two years after voters in Ramapo rejected a $16.5 million plan to build the facility by a wide margin, according to Journal News reports. 

While St. Lawrence vowed not to use town funding to build the stadium, he used the town to guarantee a $25 million bond issued to a local development corporation over a five year period, allowing him to sidestep the need for a public vote.  A legal challenge to the bond was upheld by a state judge, allowing for construction to continue.

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While the stadium’s price tag was originally projected at $20 to $25 million, it turned into a $60 million project according to an audit by Comptroller Thomas Di Napoli. 

DiNapoli’s office found that the town had “inappropriately mingled its activities” with the local development corporation created to build the park and warned in 2012 that despite having originally rejected the proposal, taxpayers could still be left footing the $60 million bill.

“Ramapo officials ignored red flag the project numbers didn’t add up which could adversely impact its finances for years to come,” stated the audit.

An audit by accountants for the Town of Ramapo found that the local development corporation that financed the stadium showed a loss of $600,000 in 2013.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had been working with the FBI and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on the case and civil charges for violations of federal law may also be forthcoming.

It is unclear whether St. Lawrence would be able to continue as supervisor.  Deputy Supervisor Patrick Withers, a retired NYPD officer who opposed the stadium project, said that that the town government would continue to operate as usual.  Withers said that St. Lawrence’s arrest casts a pall over Ramapo.

“While the criminal charges filed are not a surprise, coming as they are on the heels of a multi-year federal investigation, the nature and extent of the charges are shocking,” said Withers.


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Read Comments (19)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 14, 2016 at 08:33 AM mr613 Says:

סימן טוב ומזל טוב יהא לנו ולכל ישראל

2

 Apr 14, 2016 at 08:43 AM Boochie Says:

It's about time

3

 Apr 14, 2016 at 09:03 AM blubluh Says:

I'm confused. The article states that a state court "upheld" a challenge to the bond, which to me sounds like they ruled against the bond. Yet, in the same sentence, the article states that that ruling allowed construction to continue.

How could construction continue if the bond was blocked? If construction was not contingent on financing by the bond, what's this case about?

4

 Apr 14, 2016 at 09:13 AM WiseDude Says:

Do I hear a canary singing? Lots of nervous folks in Monsey this morning. What a travesty that for years the leaders of the Monsey Jewish community told their followers to vote for this crook and they knew he was a crook. Someday perhaps the frum Jews will vote for a person based on integrity and values instead of what crooked deals they think they will get from the crooked politician.

5

 Apr 14, 2016 at 09:33 AM Anonymous Says:

If ur jewish, stop besmirching your fellow jew on a public forum...probably a far bigger sin!

6

 Apr 14, 2016 at 10:48 AM outoftown Says:

Reply to #4  
WiseDude Says:

Do I hear a canary singing? Lots of nervous folks in Monsey this morning. What a travesty that for years the leaders of the Monsey Jewish community told their followers to vote for this crook and they knew he was a crook. Someday perhaps the frum Jews will vote for a person based on integrity and values instead of what crooked deals they think they will get from the crooked politician.

You are correct. I strongly feel that the chasidishe community is mostly to blame. They will vote for the biggest menuval, low life, thug, democ rat, smooth talker if they are told that they will get freebies and financial help for their organizations. Even if it will negatively impact the rest of the taxpayers/citizens/bu-sinesses.

7

 Apr 14, 2016 at 11:19 AM jsjcbs Says:

Baruch Hashem! It's about time. He ruined Monsey.

This ballpark is just a drop in the bucket for him with all the crimes he's committed. I would love to know how much money he made from all the illegal homes that are going up around town.

8

 Apr 14, 2016 at 11:30 AM kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

this is great, I hope they give him a plea deal so he can spill the beans on the REAL crooks who are destroying Monsey and hurting the minority children in Spring Valley.

9

 Apr 14, 2016 at 11:41 AM Miriam377 Says:

Reply to #7  
jsjcbs Says:

Baruch Hashem! It's about time. He ruined Monsey.

This ballpark is just a drop in the bucket for him with all the crimes he's committed. I would love to know how much money he made from all the illegal homes that are going up around town.

You and me both. I look out my window and all I see is a wall no more trees.

10

 Apr 14, 2016 at 11:43 AM AH Says:

A friend of the Jewish people - who has been demonized by Jew and Non Jew alike for his role in multi family dwellings....
Hey you haters out there- I got some news for you.. the Multifamily dwellings would have happened anyways.. Dont shoot the messenger... look deep deep into yourselves, we get the leaders that we deserve.. and by that I mean the leaders of OUR community (read builders, shvitzers etc)..
Mr St Lawrences father was an ohaiv Yisroel too..I heard this from someone who knew him well.. he is not an ohaiv Mommon, believe me..any more than me or you are!

He has done great things for our community- every one will agree to this

Mr St Lawrence, history will show u helped us so much!, WE pushed you 4 big bldings potentialy 2b near shul
lets stop this demonizingl -- do not feed into the press frenzy.. he only has this stadium thing against him- please do NOT build up more alleged things..

What we give out we get in.. Love and understanding is missing in our community- be a part of it..
Hashem will help us if we stick together .. after all we came out of Mitzrayim by NOT fighting, infighting and accusing>

We will get out of this the same way.

11

 Apr 14, 2016 at 12:15 PM LionofZion Says:

#10, why should we have to "get out of" things? Why can't we just follow the law and be decent people. Do you really need 4 Shuls on your block? Where is the Ahavas Yisroel there? And where is the Ahavas Yisroel in constructing unsafe firetrap Yeshivas for innocent children? What is Frum about building apartment houses in violation of zoning laws, is there some kind of Halacha against having a yard? There is a Halacha against children playing 2 feet away from traffic on route 306, but that does not seem to concern you folks. Let St. Lawrence fry.

12

 Apr 14, 2016 at 12:44 PM RocklandRes Says:

Reply to #10  
AH Says:

A friend of the Jewish people - who has been demonized by Jew and Non Jew alike for his role in multi family dwellings....
Hey you haters out there- I got some news for you.. the Multifamily dwellings would have happened anyways.. Dont shoot the messenger... look deep deep into yourselves, we get the leaders that we deserve.. and by that I mean the leaders of OUR community (read builders, shvitzers etc)..
Mr St Lawrences father was an ohaiv Yisroel too..I heard this from someone who knew him well.. he is not an ohaiv Mommon, believe me..any more than me or you are!

He has done great things for our community- every one will agree to this

Mr St Lawrence, history will show u helped us so much!, WE pushed you 4 big bldings potentialy 2b near shul
lets stop this demonizingl -- do not feed into the press frenzy.. he only has this stadium thing against him- please do NOT build up more alleged things..

What we give out we get in.. Love and understanding is missing in our community- be a part of it..
Hashem will help us if we stick together .. after all we came out of Mitzrayim by NOT fighting, infighting and accusing>

We will get out of this the same way.

You are a racist and a bigot.

13

 Apr 14, 2016 at 01:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
AH Says:

A friend of the Jewish people - who has been demonized by Jew and Non Jew alike for his role in multi family dwellings....
Hey you haters out there- I got some news for you.. the Multifamily dwellings would have happened anyways.. Dont shoot the messenger... look deep deep into yourselves, we get the leaders that we deserve.. and by that I mean the leaders of OUR community (read builders, shvitzers etc)..
Mr St Lawrences father was an ohaiv Yisroel too..I heard this from someone who knew him well.. he is not an ohaiv Mommon, believe me..any more than me or you are!

He has done great things for our community- every one will agree to this

Mr St Lawrence, history will show u helped us so much!, WE pushed you 4 big bldings potentialy 2b near shul
lets stop this demonizingl -- do not feed into the press frenzy.. he only has this stadium thing against him- please do NOT build up more alleged things..

What we give out we get in.. Love and understanding is missing in our community- be a part of it..
Hashem will help us if we stick together .. after all we came out of Mitzrayim by NOT fighting, infighting and accusing>

We will get out of this the same way.

Sorry but all the illegal yeshiva fire traps he said to ignore. Would you blame this friend of the forum if your child got trapped in a fire?

14

 Apr 14, 2016 at 01:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
RocklandRes Says:

You are a racist and a bigot.

Racist because he's happy st Lawrence will be jailed? Think how many frum lives will be saved when Chris is locked up!

15

 Apr 14, 2016 at 01:54 PM WiseDude Says:

Reply to #10  
AH Says:

A friend of the Jewish people - who has been demonized by Jew and Non Jew alike for his role in multi family dwellings....
Hey you haters out there- I got some news for you.. the Multifamily dwellings would have happened anyways.. Dont shoot the messenger... look deep deep into yourselves, we get the leaders that we deserve.. and by that I mean the leaders of OUR community (read builders, shvitzers etc)..
Mr St Lawrences father was an ohaiv Yisroel too..I heard this from someone who knew him well.. he is not an ohaiv Mommon, believe me..any more than me or you are!

He has done great things for our community- every one will agree to this

Mr St Lawrence, history will show u helped us so much!, WE pushed you 4 big bldings potentialy 2b near shul
lets stop this demonizingl -- do not feed into the press frenzy.. he only has this stadium thing against him- please do NOT build up more alleged things..

What we give out we get in.. Love and understanding is missing in our community- be a part of it..
Hashem will help us if we stick together .. after all we came out of Mitzrayim by NOT fighting, infighting and accusing>

We will get out of this the same way.

The huge multi-family dense housing would NOT have happened without St. Lawrence and his associates allowing it by granting outrageous down zoning and variances that would not be accepted anywhere else in America. Ruined Monsey and Ramapo. That is the secret to his support in the Jewish community. Period. End of story.

16

 Apr 14, 2016 at 02:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
AH Says:

A friend of the Jewish people - who has been demonized by Jew and Non Jew alike for his role in multi family dwellings....
Hey you haters out there- I got some news for you.. the Multifamily dwellings would have happened anyways.. Dont shoot the messenger... look deep deep into yourselves, we get the leaders that we deserve.. and by that I mean the leaders of OUR community (read builders, shvitzers etc)..
Mr St Lawrences father was an ohaiv Yisroel too..I heard this from someone who knew him well.. he is not an ohaiv Mommon, believe me..any more than me or you are!

He has done great things for our community- every one will agree to this

Mr St Lawrence, history will show u helped us so much!, WE pushed you 4 big bldings potentialy 2b near shul
lets stop this demonizingl -- do not feed into the press frenzy.. he only has this stadium thing against him- please do NOT build up more alleged things..

What we give out we get in.. Love and understanding is missing in our community- be a part of it..
Hashem will help us if we stick together .. after all we came out of Mitzrayim by NOT fighting, infighting and accusing>

We will get out of this the same way.

Are you that uneducated to realize this tzadik of yours will squeal on every chasid who bribed him? Hundreds will be jailed.

17

 Apr 14, 2016 at 02:59 PM RocklandRes Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

Racist because he's happy st Lawrence will be jailed? Think how many frum lives will be saved when Chris is locked up!

I think you need to read more carefully...

18

 Apr 14, 2016 at 06:54 PM mr613 Says:

The Klal should not be sticking up for individuals charged with such grave misdeeds and we should reflect on our own miss comings !
Why do we have so many in our midst that have to resort to questionable activities to make ends meet?
I dare say it's ‏משירת נפש to rely on government for your sustenance we have the best and the brightest ‏רבותיי
Why not teach our children once again like our forefathers in Europe to be proud tradesmen ?
Working a hard day of honest work and being ‏קובע התאים is honorable !
A night Seder is admirable as well!

19

 Apr 15, 2016 at 10:23 AM RocklandRes Says:

From a LoHUD comment:
Please, this criminality had nothing to do with a "Baseball Obsession" . The only reason why a stadium was built for a team one level above Bar League was as a justification to sell bonds. The stadium cost 65 million, they sold 150 million in bonds, where did the othe 85 million go to? Some no doubt went to underwrite the Ultraorthodox steered Elm Street Condos also run by Ramapo LDC other money went to pay other projects

St. Lawrence and crew were robbing Peter to pay Paul in a Municiple Bond Ponzi scheme. Not all the dominoes have fallen yet.

And those low income condos where bought by Brooklyn LLCs. A lot more is coming to the frum community.

20

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