NEWS FLASH 9/4/14

Primary season winds down
This year’s political primary season is coming to a head next Tuesday, September 9 and features some intriguing and unlikely races. The most interesting, at least for those who follow inside politics, is the GOP Committee race in the Town of Clarkstown. Legislator Frank Sparaco and County Executive Ed Day are unofficially engaged in a proxy war for influence over the GOP. Sparaco is seeking to oust from power Day-allied Clarkstown GOP Chairman Bob Axelrod and install leaders more friendly to himself and County Chairman Vinny Reda. Sparaco and Day have made it known to the public their dislike for each other in recent weeks. Despite the being a Republican, Day has often butted heads with the Rockland GOP establishment and won election by forging an alliance with a third party line Preserve Rockland. The GOP Committee election can be said to be a battle for influence between the Preserve Rockland movement and long-established Republican machinery. Axelrod has attacked Sparaco for being disloyal to Ed Day’s candidacy for county executive, while Sparaco has pointed out that Axelrod, a former Democrat, and the broader Preserve Rockland movement lack the conservative credentials to lead the Republican Party. In other races Karl Brabenec and Dan Castricone face off for the GOP Assembly nomination in the district formerly occupied by Orange County Clerk Annie Rabbitt, including parts of western Ramapo. Both men possess excellent qualifications, with Brabenec cutting taxes over a period of several years as supervisor of Deer Park, while Castricone is a former north Rocklander who has enjoyed political success in Tuxedo for many years. Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski may be Democratic Party royalty, but he is not untouchable. CSEA Union Head P.T. Thomas is running a write-in campaign against Zebrowski for the Democratic and Working Families Party lines, mainly to express opposition for Zebrowski’s support of selling Summit Park County Hospital in Pomona.

Reimer on the warpath
Former Town of Ramapo Finance Director Melissa Reimer has struck back against the town higher-ups who have been seeking to bring her down. When Reimer turned state evidence against Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, providing the FBI with supposed evidence of malfeasance, the town began proceedings against her on various charges, including attempting to change the overtime hours of a police officer she had been having an affair with. In a lawsuit filed against the town, Reimer details what she told the FBI she had observed in the Town of Ramapo, including a claim that St. Lawrence and friends were overstating Ramapo LDC revenues by over $32 million, while understating expenses by as much as $3 million. Reimer also said St. Lawrence had used town funds to pay for private gifts on more than one occasion. Reimer is seeking a $2 million judgement, claiming misconduct proceedings against her were retaliations for her cooperation with the FBI.

Nadell arraigned
Diana Nadell will be in Rockland County on Friday to answer to charges she allegedly attempted to put a hit on two witnesses in her murder trial for the killing of her mother-in-law Peggy Nadell. At an arraignment Friday she will face new conspiracy, tampering and intimidation charges on top of first degree murder charges she already faces in the grisly killing.

Fight in adult home leads to arrest
Patrick Brady, 56, of Monsey Park Home has faces first-degree assault and other charges following a fight in the home in which he allegedly struck a victim in the head repeatedly with a metal bar. He was arraigned in Ramapo Town Court and take to County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Clarkstown intends to claim eminent domain on property
The J. Owens Building on Sickletown Road in West Nyack may never be developed thanks to the Town of Clarkstown’s desire to condemn the property for flood mitigation purposes. Owner James Owens is currently fighting with the town for the rights to develop the 3.7 acre parcel. The case is being heard before the state Supreme Court Appellate Division. Owens’ lawyer is Dennis Lynch of Nyack, who claims the town already owns enough land to mitigate flood plains.