Monroe town justice accused of forging documents to keep her job

Posted: Updated:

A town justice in Orange County has been arrested for allegedly forging documents in an effort to keep her job. 

Monroe Town Justice Lurlyn Winchester is facing federal charges for allegedly lying about where she lives to get and keep her job. She was arrested Wednesday morning and released on $50,000 bond.

According to an 11-page federal complaint, Winchester lives in New City but provided a fake Monroe address in 2013 when she ran for election, illegally registering to vote in Orange County.

She has been charged with falsifying documents and making false statements to a bank.

Investigators say Winchester went on after she was elected to get a mortgage for a condo on Hidden Creek Boulevard, but gave the bank a fake lease for her Rockland home, which she allegedly never rented out, and fake rent checks in order to get approved.

The judge's job requires Winchester, an attorney in Rockland, to preside in Monroe two to four times a month.

While the federal allegations question whether she was ever eligible for the seat, the woman who ran against her, Audra Shwartz, tells News 12 she raised these concerns with the Orange County Board of Elections years ago but that members dismissed the allegations.

Shwartz gave News 12 an election document that appears to show Winchester listed two different house numbers for an address on the same street.

The Board of Elections has declined to comment, and Winchester has not returned News 12’s calls.

If convicted, Winchester could face a sentence of up to 50 years.

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