NY State Police informed the public that former Ramapo Councilman Daniel Friedman is presumed dead in the waters beneath the Bear Mt Bridge. A man driving Friedman’s car was filmed on surveillance jumping from the bridge this morning and Friedman’s whereabouts are unknown, police said.
They began a search for Friedman’s body beneath the bridge between 4 and 6 a.m. Friday morning.
Friedman, 30, was appointed to the town council at the age of 23 in 2010, following the death of Ed Friedman. One of the youngest elected officials in the State of New York, he was elected in 2011 to a four year term with the backing of Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and the Ramapo Democratic Committee.
Not long after his election to a full-term, Friedman had a falling out with St. Lawrence’s controversial regime and became an outspoken critic of the now federally-indicted supervisor. In the wake of the FBI’s 2013 raid of Ramapo Town Hall, Friedman issued numerous reports highlighting what he said were unethical practices and poor budgeting decisions by St. Lawrence.
Without the support of St. Lawrence and the Ramapo Democratic Committee, however, Friedman was unable to turn out enough voters in 2015 to maintain his seat.
Friedman also ran for mayor of Spring Valley in 2014 and was considered an early front-runner. Despite vigilant campaigning on his part he came up short and was defeated handily in the Democratic primary by eventual general election winner Demeza Delhomme in a race of several candidates.
Friedman also worked as a liaison for the Rockland County Legislature for several years until his apparent death Friday, continuing work activity through Thursday afternoon. His death shocked legislators and other colleagues as he had not shown outward signs of distress. An outpouring of grief was expressed by the Rockland political community upon word of the tragedy.
Friedman also had worked as a journalist for the Monsey Advocate prior to taking public office and as a legislative liaison was responsible for writing many letters to constituents, newspaper articles and other literary material.
More information and community response as this story develops.