Rockland County, NY - War Of Words Between Day And Wieder As County Exec Threatens Criminal Action Over Damning Deposition
Rockland County, NY - Hours after being blasted by a local lawmaker brandishing a sworn affidavit alleging that he unfairly targeted the Orthodox Jewish community, Rockland County Executive Ed Day revealed that he has asked the district attorney to consider pressing criminal charges against the former employee who made the statements while under oath.
Legislator Aron Wieder delivered an emphatic speech at a scheduled legislative session on Tuesday night during which he denounced Day for alleged attempts to try to limit the growth of the county’s Orthodox Jewish community.
Wieder said his claims were based on an affidavit signed by former Rockland County human rights commissioner Ram Nagabundi who left his position after disciplinary charges were brought against him in April 2016, as reported by The Journal News.
Nagubandi, who worked for the county for 16 years, filed suit against Day and five other individuals, saying that he was wrongfully terminated, a violation of his civil rights. He reached a settlement with the county on Tuesday, dropping all charges in exchange for a settlement that had him agreeing to voluntarily leave his position with a cash payout and benefits totaling just over $62,500.
The sworn court document filed by Nagubandi containing the accusations against Day was not part of the settled court case and has been circulating via social media over the past week.
Wieder appeared at last night’s meeting holding a copy of Nagubandi’s sworn affidavit and quoting from it, detailing the former human rights commissioner’s complaint.
“He was told by Mr. Ed Day to be careful not to give too much money to the town of Ramapo as this would allow for the Jewish religious community, quote, ‘to continue growing’, unquote,” said Wieder. “He also testified under oath that he was told by the deputy county executive about the religious Jewish community quote ‘we can’t stop them but we can and must try to slow down their growth,’ unquote.”
Weider, who said he “trembled” as he read the affidavit, announced that he would no longer accord Day the honor of the title “County Executive” but would instead refer to him by the simpler “Mr.”.
Wieder said that Day’s alleged statements were clear examples of his anti-Semitism and wondered aloud why the county executive would want to try to control the county’s Jewish population.
“Mr. Day, my family has not wronged you in any way,” said Wieder. “Why, oh why, would you want to limit their growth?”
In a telephone interview with VIN News last week, Day categorized Nagubandi as “a disgruntled employee who fell short in so many ways.”
He said that the allegations about controlling the growth of the Jewish community appeared in a deposition that was never filed in court. Asked if he had anything to say about Nagubandi’s accusations, Day replied simply, “I don’t comment on nonsense.”
But Day decided to speak openly about Nagubandi’s allegations today with a Facebook post that took Nagubandi, his attorney Dennis Lynch and Wieder to task.
Day noted that Lynch, who represents the yeshiva coalition that had refused to allow county fire inspectors into their buildings to make sure they were in compliance with the fire code, also represented Nagubandi.
Day charged that as a Town of Ramapo employee, Lynch had access to the affidavit that had not been made available to the public. Day also accused Wieder of insincerity in his address to the legislature on Tuesday and described him as being “at the epicenter of the destruction of the East Ramapo Schools.”
Day’s post was accompanied by a picture of a letter sent to Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe, informing him that Nagubandi’s sworn affidavit contains several false statements and asking that the document be reviewed for possible criminality.
“It is my suspicion that this document, as filed with the court, brings into play the possibilities of crimes under Penal Code Article 170, including perjury,” wrote Day.
Day also issued a warning on Facebook to others who continue to accuse him unjustly.
“False statements under oath is a crime and I have asked our District Attorney to weigh that. That is a matter of record. Others publicly repeating falsehoods should give heed. That is a matter of defamation.”
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