In Rockland County the mayor and deputy mayor of the Village of Spring Valley face bribery charges in connection with a Spring Valley Real Estate Project Conspiracy, which, according to the filed complaint, alleges the two accepted money and property in exchange for using their official positions to approve a real estate deal in which the mayor had an undisclosed financial interest. According to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney and FBI assistant director-in-charge, Mayor Noramie Jasmin allegedly received financial benefits and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret allegedly received $10,500 in cash bribes in exchange for official acts. The two were arrested this morning.
Officials with Mayor Jasmin’s and Deputy Mayor Desmaret’s offices declined to comment. Spring Valley’s police chief, and the Rockland County District Attorney were unavailable for comment as the two were taking part in a press conference in relation to the charges.
Demeza Dellhomme is one of three Spring Valley village trustees. He says he went to the village offices this morning as soon after he heard the news.
Dellhomme says that decision depends upon the severity of the charges. As he mentions, Trustee Joseph Gross is on vacation. And Trustee Anthony Leon says he does not have a comment at this point. As to whether he was surprised to learn that there are charges against the village mayor and deputy mayor, Delhomme replied:
He then reiterated he was not surprised. Noramie Jasmin is the first Haitian-American mayor in New York State history.
The connection between the charges against Jasmin and Desmaret with those against State Senator Malcolm Smith, New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, and two others is not clear. Smith and Halloran were arrested on charges of allegedly having arranged for cash bribes totaling $40,000 in an effort for Smith, a Democrat, who is part of the Independent Democratic Conference, to appear on the Republican primary ballot as a New York City mayoral candidate in the 2013 election.
Dr. Gerald Benjamin is Director of the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
He says the alleged charges against Smith should not undo the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC.
Repeated requests for comment from IDC leader Senator Jeffrey Klein, and IDC member Senator David Carlucci, whose district includes Spring Valley, were not returned in time for this broadcast.