Time for Reimer to return
BY KATHY KAHN
There is a movement growing to return Melissa Reimer-the woman who brought down the house of cards Christopher St. Lawrence built-back to her rightful place as fiscal supervisor of the Town of Ramapo.
Her lawyer released a letter this week requesting her return and a public movement has also commenced. The position has been filled by St. Lawrence’s closest ally Mona Montal for the past several years. The job was available because St. Lawrence placed Reimer, a CPA, on administrative leave when she started questioning the sketchy financial practices rife during his tenure.
St. Lawrence accused Reimer of behavior detrimental to the town and shut down her inquiries. Seeking to set things right, she turned to the FBI.
When an insider “blows the whistle” on corruption threats, innuendo and actual harm often come toward the individual. Reimer dealt with years of insults and disciplinary hearings. Although she was paid during her leave, the proceedings stalled her career.
Now that St. Lawrence has been convicted and currently awaits sentencing in U.S. Federal Court, residents cheered when Robert Romanowski asked the current town board on September 13 to reinstate Reimer to her former position.
“I can’t get into this discussion because of ongoing litigation, but I believe Melissa should be reinstated,” Councilman Patrick Withers told Romanowski and the few members of the audience who cheered him on.
The litigation he referred to is Reimer’s lawsuit against the Town of Ramapo, Town Attorney Michael Klein and Deputy Town Attorney Beth Finkelstein. In late June, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel agreed that Reimer, in approaching the FBI for help, was protected under the First Amendment.
Siebel further ruled defamation charges against St. Lawrence, Town Attorney Michael Klein and Deputy Town Attorney Beth Finkelstein, who oversaw Reimer’s town disciplinary cases leading to the CPA’s suspension, can be presented in jury trial.
St. Lawrence is scheduled to be sentenced this month. Michael Klein remains the town attorney—at least for the time being.