SHOCKER! RCC Union chieftain faces grand larceny charges


Clifford Garner
Professor Clifford Garner

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe today announced that Clifford Garner (DOB 07/24/53) of 80 Catswamp Road, Hackettstown, New Jersey has been charged with:

One count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class “C” Felony

One count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D”” Felony

One count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony

One count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony

Garner is currently an English professor at Rockland Community College in Suffern and serves as President of the Rockland Community College Federation of Teachers, a local union affiliated with New York State United Teachers Union. He also is the coordinator of the college’s MTS Honors Program, which is the most esteemed program at the college and regularly transfers students to Tier 1 and Ivy League schools.

District Attorney Zugibe said that, according to the charges, between January 2010 and June 2014, Garner stole more than $200,000 from the Rockland Community College Federation of Teachers.

The defendant is additionally charged with submitting falsified documentation to Rockland Community College, allegedly stealing more than $3,000 from the school by falsely claiming to have made certain work‐related expenditures.

“The defendant is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from an organization designed to protect its members,” said District Attorney Zugibe. “In so doing, he is accused of violating his own professional ethics, damaging the public’s trust in his union and the students’ confidence in the college.”

Garner’s arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Rockland County District Attorney’s Special Investigations Unit.

RCC Communications Director Tzipora Reitman said that Garner has been suspended from teaching duties and other members of the faculty have assumed his classes.

If convicted, the defendant faces up to fifteen years in state prison.

Supervising Assistant District Attorney Richard Kennison Moran is prosecuting the case.

It should be noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.