Rockland sheriff fires back on housing claims in ad

Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco is speaking out about a controversial campaign ad by his Republican challenger Richard Vasquez that paints him as "soft" on illegal housing.

The ad shows an old picture of Falco with two members of the Orthordox Jewish community, and says he has "refused to enforce the illegal housing laws."

The Anti-Defamation League of New York is calling the ad "disturbing and highly offensive," stating it implies that the Jewish community is responsible for illegal housing problems.

"I honestly believe my opponent and the current administration of the Republican Party is trying to create a greater division, an anti-Semitic sentiment in Rockland County," Falco says.

News 12 reached out to Vasquez for comment, but the calls weren't immediately returned. A spokesman from the Republican Party says that the issue is not the picture, but rather that Falco has not done anything to combat the illegal housing problem which puts first responders in dangerous situations.

Falco insists that the illegal housing problems are not of the sheriff's responsibility. "These are code enforcement issues only, enforceable by code enforcement officers in towns and village police departments."

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