Rockland corruption probe targets town, county officials

A far-reaching corruption probe in Rockland County is reportedly zeroing in on officials in Ramapo, Clarkstown and at the county government level. According to Rockland County Executive Ed Day, the

News 12 Staff

Mar 11, 2016, 4:40 AM

Updated 3,016 days ago

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A far-reaching corruption probe in Rockland County is reportedly zeroing in on officials in Ramapo, Clarkstown and at the county government level.
According to Rockland County Executive Ed Day, the feds are looking at county "financial disclosures." High-ranking sources tell News 12 that dozens of people could soon be indicted, impacting local and county governments. Word of subpoenas flying around has swirled through Clarkstown Town Hall and at the Government Center in New City.
The investigation allegedly began with a probe into how Provident Bank Park in Pomona was funded through the Ramapo town supervisor's office, and how it was built so quickly in 2010 despite fierce opposition.
News 12 cameras were present in 2013 when the FBI raided Ramapo Town Hall and seized boxes of evidence. Sources say the paper trail led them to the county's $70 million Brega Bus Company contract and alleged payouts to multiple town and county officials for their support.
Former Clarkstown Town Supervisor Alex Gromack admitted to receiving referral fees, but says he was cleared of any wrongdoing by an ethics committee.
The investigation is reportedly looking into at least one Rockland County legislator for taking campaign funds for pushing through the aforementioned bus contract. The probe is also targeting a number of Rockland businessmen with Israeli passports and ties to other officials.
Although many Rockland officials are staying tight-lipped about the federal probe, District Attorney Tom Zugibe did go public Thursday to clear the name of one former official, county Transportation Commissioner Thomas Vanderbeek.
Vanderbeek was at the helm of the Transportation Department in 2014 when the controversial bus contract was given to the Brega Corporation. According to Zugibe, Vanderbeek was never the target of any state or federal probe. Vanderbeek committed suicide last month. He was 60 years old.
Another name that has been mentioned in connection with the investigation is former Rockland County Legislator Frank Sparaco. He was forced to resign from the Legislature after being convicted of an election law violation. Via phone, he told News 12 Thursday that he never testified against anyone, nor has he gone before a grand jury.
Sparaco says the last time he spoke with federal investigators was three years ago after he held a news conference claiming he was the subject of a bribery attempt.
State Sen. David Carlucci says that there is a need to attack corruption in the county and state. He adds that that rooting out corruption in New York government must be a top priority.
The U.S. attorney's office has not commented on the investigation. There is no word yet on when the indictments will be handed out and exactly who will be involved. 


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