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Town of Ramapo residents had a big win in the fight against corruption last week after the conviction of Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence.
St. Lawrence was convicted by a federal jury on 20 corruption-related charges after allegedly cooking the Town’s books to get better rates to finance a baseball stadium.
The Journal News reports that St. Lawrence had lied about the Town’s financial state in order to receive a better credit rating. St. Lawrence also sought out a lower interest rate on bonds issued by the Town and the Ramapo Local Development Corporation – which were then used to finance the stadium and other infrastructure projects.
Audiotapes played during the trial revealed how St. Lawrence lied to investors about the Town’s finances as he was caught saying, “we’re going to have to be a magician to get those numbers.”
According to the Journal News, Town residents were stuck with more than half of the $58 million construction bill after the RLDC issued $25 million in bonds.
All of this came after residents voted against erecting the stadium and St. Lawrence’s announcement that no public funds would be used for the construction.
St. Lawrence will be sentenced on September 28. Meanwhile, LoHud.com reports that the Town Board will meet to vote a successor for St. Lawrence and will consider other reforms to the town government.
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