Jasmin set to stand trial for corruption
Former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin will stand trial alone for bribery and corruption in a decision rendered by a federal court in White Plains on Friday.
Jasmin faces wire fraud and extortion charges for acccepting a bribe made by former real estate developer Moses “Mark” Stern. As an informant in an FBI sting, Stern offered Jasmin 50 percent ownership of a planned kosher catering hall in exchange for her political support.
Jasmin’s trial is set for June 2. Her Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret has already pled guilty to the same charges and will be sentenced onMay 22.
Stony Point woman arrested for abuse of family
Police arrested a Stony Point woman on charges related to domestic abuse and destruction of property on Saturday, including the endangerment of several children.
The police arrived at the home to find Neveta Subasic physically accosting family members by punching and kicking them and breaking a glass picture frame, all in front of several young children.
Subasic was arrested and charged with second degree harassment, fourth degree criminal mischief and endangering the welfare of a child. She was released on $250 bail and is due in court on March 14.
State DEC awards $75,000 for shorelines demonstration project in Nyack
The New York State DEC announced on March 3 that they had approved a grant of almost $75,000 to Princeton Hydro LLC for improvements to the shoreline of Nyack Beach State Park.
The shorelines demonstration project, which will be funded through the DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program, will improve the shorefront of the beach by guarding against erosion, protect local wildlife and enhance its uses as a recreational area.
It is hoped the project will also guard the park from storm surges, sea level rise and other changing conditions which threaten the area’s long-term and short-term resiliency.The park was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy, sustaining almost $1 million in damages to 2.5 miles of riverfront trails and seawall.
Convicted killer from local family of criminals released for deportation
Samir Zada, who was convicted for a brutal robbery-murder in 1973 and has already served 40 years in prison, has bee released into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for his deportment to his home country of Jordan.
Zada, whose family was notorious in Nyack for a string of violent crimes and drug offenses in the 1970s, was paroled on February 24 after his term in prison for the robbery-murder of Nyack dance instructor Jerry Stout was completed. He is expected to be free in Jordan.
The Zada family is known for being dangerous career criminals. Two weeks prior to Stout’s murder, Zada is also known to have killed Congers plumber Christian Gunther, while Zada’s younger brother Amer was arrested for sexual assault and murder.
Another brother Nazir was serving time for pimping and weapons charges when he died of an overdose. The brothers’ father Baker served time for felony assault and shooting a police officer.
Schoenberger to introduce legislation requiring timely payment of county obligations
Legislator Ilan Schoenberger plans to push for a local law mandating obligations to contractors, contract agencies, vendors, and other parties which do business with the county, to be paid within thirty days of a project’s final approval.
According to Schoenberger, payments are often delayed up to 90 days after final approvals. He pointed out that at times, the payments are ready well before the proposed deadline, but never sent to recipients.
“We should not inflict hardship upon people who do business with or receive payments from the county,” Schoenberger said.
The issue is expected to be brought up at the legislature’s next budget & finance meeting next Tuesday before final approval at the general meeting the following week.
County will not take action on Jerrold Miles
Rockland County’s personnel commissioner indicated no action would be taken on Spring Valley Village Attorney Jerrold Miles, whose appointment has been challenged by several members of the village’s board of trustees.
Rockland County Personnel Commisioner Joan Silvestri met with Trustee Vilair Fonvil, who argued Miles had been appointed without a board vote. Though Silvestri pointed to the minutes of a reorganizational meeting which indicated a vote took place, Fonvil continues to insist the documents were fradulently created by Mayor Demeza Delhome to cover for the lack of a vote.
Silvestri went on to add that though the document appears to be legitimate, this does not preclude further investigations into the matter which could alter her position.
State announces new regulations to protect tax prep customers
On Monday, the state announced new regulations aiming to protect consumers from errors and fraud in the tax preparation industry.
The new regulations will require tax preparers to be high school graduates. Grads will be exected to pass a state competency exam and a 16 hour basic tax course, complete four hours of cotinuing education each year, and meet applicable IRS requirements. The new requirements are expected to impact over 40,000 tax preparers statewide but may be waived in lieu of other applicable standards for other professionals such as law or accounting.
The new regulations are expected to enhance the legitimacy and professionalism of tax practice. In the past, tax preparers have been accused of predatory billing practices, theft of tax refunds, the offering of high-interest loans in anticipation of refunds and the filing of fradulent returns.
DiNapoli: $2 billion surplus is not a sure bet
Though Governor Andrew Cuomo is angling for a $2 billion surplus to be directed toward tax breaks, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli stated in a report released on Monday that such a massive surplus could be a daunting task.
DiNapoli explained the 2015-2016 fiscal year alone could see a $1.5 billion deficit. Subsequent years could see the deficit grow into a $2.2 billion gap in 2016-2017 and $3.4 in 2017-2018. Hence, the surplus would require a subsequent $2.5 billion reduction in expenses in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
The Comptroller attributes shortfalls to the impact of the two percent statewide tax cap, which he argues does not satisfy growing state needs in areas such as Medicaid and healthcare, a combined $41.5 billion in the state’s $92 billion operating budget.
State Attorney General cleared for Sprint lawsuit
Following a ruling in New York State Supreme Court, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was allowed to proceed with a $400 million case against Sprint-Nextel Corp. for their alleged failure to pay state sales taxes.
As per state law, the suit demands Sprint pay three times its $130 million under-paymment plus penalties. Though Sprint attempted to have the suit dismissed on the grounds that the claims were insufficient and the alleged wrongdoing took place before the amendments to the New York False Claims Act in 2010, Supreme Court Justice O. Peter Sherwood upheld the suit.
Sprint is alleged to have failed to collect sales taxes on monthly access charges for call plans, a move which would help them lower their own prices and gain a competitive advantaage. Schneierman claims that to cover up the alleged tax fraud, Sprint repeatedly submitted false records to state tax authorities.
The phone company attempted to appeal the decision in the state’s Appellate Division, but the higher court affirmed Sherwood’s ruling, effectively preserving the complaint.
Homeschooled German family will be allowed to stay in U.S.
A German family which moved to the U.S. to avoid their home country’s required public schooling will be allowed to remain in the country.
According to the family’s attorney, who has been helping the Romeike fight to remain in the country, the Department of Homeland Security has granted them “indefinite deferred status.” The status will allow them to stay in their Morristown, TN home and homeschool their children in accordance with their Christian beliefs.
Germany requires all children attend state-approved schools and precludes homeschooling. The Romeikes were granted asylum on religious grounds in 2010, but the Obama Administration won on appeal. The Supreme Court has declined to take up the case.