BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
The Rockland DA’s Office announced a plea deal with former Ramapo Building Inspector Anthony Mallia, arrested September 2016 on charges he shaved permit costs for dozens of construction projects over the course of 2015 and early 2016. He also was alleged to have overcharged the Moleston Fire District by $75,000 on one construction project.
Mallia had faced a total of 148 felony counts for falsifying business records, tampering with public records and issuing a false certificate and 40 misdemeanor counts for official misconduct. He ultimately pleaded guilty to one felony charge of tampering in the first degree and one charge of official misconduct. County Court Judge David Zuckerman sentenced Mallia to five years probation and no jail time. Defense attorneys made no jail time a condition of any plea, local media reports said.
Mallia, who had been suspended with pay since his arrest, officially resigned his position this June in a deal with the Town of Ramapo that included four months’ pay and 350 hours of accrued time off. Councilman Patrick Withers voted against the deal, deriding it as a golden parachute for someone who was accused of betraying the public, but it passed the board 3-1. Acting Supervisor Yitzchok Ullman said it was worth paying Mallia to leave rather than have the case drag through the town’s disciplinary hearing process.
Mallia will continue to receive a public employee pension, as his tenure started before the 2011 NY Ethics Reform Bill was passed. The language of the 2011 bill only applies to elected and appointed officials who began their term after 2011, imposing pension forfeiture on those convicted of felonies associated with their work duties.
Mallia was not required to pay any restitution for the $150,000 in revenue lost by taxpayers because prosecutors said there was no evidence he put any of that money in his pocket. During sentencing, Judge David Zuckerman told the courtroom he had not expected to agree to such a lenient sentence. He credited defense attorneys for putting forth a persuasive argument on behalf of their client.
Bill Weber; candidate for town supervisor reacted to the announcement of a plea from Mallia. He said, “This is another day of disappointing news for Ramapo taxpayers that underscores how badly we need a new direction in Ramapo town government. We have been starved of honest, accountable leadership at every level for years and I believe that the only solution for the future of our town is a fundamental change.”