After being charged with bribery in a real-estate development scheme as part of a larger political corruption case in New York, it is still unclear whether the mayor of Rockland County’s Spring Valley will remain in office.
Village of Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret face bribery and mail fraud charges in connection with a federal corruption case stretching from New York City to Spring Valley to Albany. Here’s Jasmin during a news conference streamed at lohud.com at 10 this morning at Village Hall.
According to The Journal News, the Democratic mayor did not take any questions regarding her future in office; nor did she take questions on the mail fraud charge that she solicited a developer for a financial share of a proposed community center on property owned by the Village of Spring Valley.
Spring Valley’s board has three trustees. As of Tuesday, according to Trustee Demeza Delhomme, the trustees were talking about what to do in terms of whether the mayor will continue to run the village.
Four others are charges in the case: State Senator Malcolm Smith; New York City Councilman Dan Halloran; Bronx County Republican Party Chairman Joseph Savino; and Queens GOP Vice Party Chairman Vincent Tabone, in an alleged plot to rig the New York City mayoral race. According to the complaint, Smith agreed to use his power as a senator to help obtain state funds for a road project in Spring Valley. That, in turn, allegedly, was to benefit a real estate project that Smith believed was being built by a developer who was actually an undercover agent.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe says the case began with an investigation that did not involve elected officials.
He declined to detail what prompted the initial investigation. And he says the investigation continues in Rockland County in relation to the federal investigation. He summarizes the charges against Mayor Jasmin, New York’s first Haitian-American mayor, and Deputy Mayor Desmaret.
And that private company, says Zugibe, was created by the FBI.
A day after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called for better leadership in the fight to cut down on political corruption, Zugibe has a word of caution for the public.
Spring Valley has a population of about 31,000 residents, with a broad mix, including both Haitian-American and Hasidic Jewish communities.