FORMER SPRING VALLEY BUILDING INSPECTOR CONVICTED OF ISSUING FALSE CERTIFICATES AND OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT

Rockland County Acting District Attorney Kevin Gilleece today announced that Walter Booker (DOB 01/02/62) of 15 Bird Pl., Spring Valley, New York was convicted after trial by a Rockland County Justice of the following:

• Issuing a False Certificate (Class “E” Felony)
• Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree (Class “A” Misdemeanor)
• Official Misconduct (Class “A” Misdemeanor)

District Attorney Gilleece said, “There’s little doubt that the defendant’s deliberate actions jeopardized public safety. By making false statements, he violated his oath as a village official and violated the trust of the community. Public officials, whether elected, appointed or employed, have a duty to maintain honest and faithful service to the people they represent.”

The defendant was the Chief Building Inspector for the Village of Spring Valley. He was convicted of back-dating a certificate of occupancy which contained a false statement and doing so with an intent to defraud other governmental agencies. Specifically, defendant was convicted of issuing a certificate of occupancy which falsely stated that 9 Zeissner Lane, Spring Valley, New York, was a two-family dwelling on 9/23/2011 when in fact on that date it was a single-family dwelling. The defendant issued the certificate on 5/22/2012 but back-dated the certificate by almost eight (8) months, dating it 9/23/2011. This was significant because the homeowner, Jacob Goldman, was required by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to have a a two-family designation in order to operate two lucrative daycare centers out of his home. The evidence at trial was that the defendant knew of this fact when he back-dated the certificate and that in May of 2012 inspectors for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services had expressed a concern that 9 Zeissner Lane was in fact a single-family dwelling.

The defendant was also convicted of Official Misconduct as a result of a letter he wrote on 5/20/2014 falsely stating that Jacob Goldman could lawfully operate a home-based occupation out of his home, contrary to the Spring Valley Village code. This letter was submitted by Goldman to the Ramapo Tax Assessor in an attempt to obtain a tax exemption.

Booker is scheduled to be sentenced on May 14, 2019.

He faces up to four years in state prison.