RAMAPO, N.Y. -- Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe announced the arrest Thursday of Ramapo Town Councilman Shmuel Tress, also known as Samuel Tress, 71, of Monsey, on charges relating to a financial conflict of interest.
Tress was charged with one count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a class E felony, and one count of official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor, Zugibe said.
“We thoroughly investigated all allegations regarding the defendant in this case, and the evidence supported criminal charges,” said Zugibe.
In May, 2015, Tress was serving as a member of the Town of Ramapo Zoning Board of Appeals. According to the charges, he also held a significant financial interest in 142 Blauvelt, the owner of 142 Blauvelt Road, in Monsey.
According to the investigation, Tress failed to disclose his financial interest in the property when he cast the deciding vote during a Zoning Board of Appeals session, granting eight zoning variances in favor of Blauvelt property.
District Attorney Zugibe said that on May 14, Tress, with intent to defraud the Town of Ramapo, filed a Disclosure Affirmation with the town officials asserting that he had not and would not engage in any activity that would provide a personal or pecuniary gain to himself in relation to his duties as a member of the Town of Ramapo Zoning Board of Appeals.
“Working proactively with our partners, we are rooting out corruption at all levels, and bringing those who abuse their positions of power to justice, Said Zugibe," said Zugibe.
The investigation was conducted by the Public Corruption Task Force which comprises the Rockland County District Attorney's Office, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office. Executive Assistant District Attorney Richard K. Moran will prosecute the case.
Tress is scheduled to return to Village of Airmont Justice Court on April 7. If convicted, he faces up to four years in state prison.
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