Rockland County legislator urges DA to answer questions about controversial plea deal amid calls for his resignation
Rockland County Legislator Laurie Santulli is trying to get answers from District Attorney Tom Walsh about a controversial plea deal recently given to two key defendants charged in a fire that killed a resident and a volunteer firefighter.
Authorities say father-and-son rabbis Nathaniel and Aaron Sommer used a blowtorch to kosherize the kitchen at the Evergreen Assisted living facility, which ultimately caused a fire that killed volunteer firefighter Jared Lloyd and facility resident Oliver Hueston in March 2021.
Walsh was met with backlash from Rockland residents after the Sommer’s received a plea deal on Tuesday including probation, fines and no jail time.
Santulli has asked the Public Safety Committee Chairman Toney Earl to have Walsh appear at their next meeting to answer questions about the controversial plea deal.
“The first question that I might want to ask would be along the lines of the process of the investigation,” she said.
Santulli says once it gets approved and put on the committee's agenda, it doesn't mean Walsh is forced to show up. At that point, they will figure out their next steps.
"We are the pocketbook of the county. I can't speak for other legislators, but any funding that is requested by the District Attorney at that point, I will not be approving if he does not show to answer to the public,” she said.
If it is not approved for the upcoming meeting, Santulli says she is hoping it will be approved in a few weeks.
"The community deserves to have the reasoning behind this decision to go with such a weak plea deal,” she said.
News 12 has reached out to the DA’s office multiple times and have yet to hear back.