ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- A judge ruled in favor of Rockland County this week ordering urging sewer commissioners to pay back $70,000 in improper payments.
Rockland Supreme Court Judge Thomas Walsh said the supervisors and mayors who served on the sewer board were wrongly paid. County Executive Ed Day cheered the ruling.
Two of the officials who received payment, former Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Johnson, have since been convicted of fraud.
Other commissioners named in the lawsuit include Paul Whelan, John Maloney, Bernard Jackson, Demeza Delhomme, George Darden, Craig Flanagan, Daniel O'Leary, Mark Reimer and Thom Kleiner.
Flanagan, mayor of Hillburn, and O'Leary, a Sloatsburg village trustee, have promised to repay the funds.
The payments began in 2003 and ended in Feb. 2015. County Sewer District laws prohibit elected officials serving on the board from being paid. Non-elected officials can earn a $2,375 annual stipend.
Former Sewer Commissioners Alexander Gromack of Clarkstown and Andy Stewart of Orangetown have already repaid their salaries. Gromack returned $13,458 and Stewart returned $6,927.
The statute of limitations only allows the county to seek repayment for six years.
St. Lawrence, a former chairman of the Sewer Commission, was paid $24,000 for 2003-2015. He is required to pay back $13,062 in principal, plus interest, according to a statement from the county executive's office.
John Stepanovich, the lawyer for the town officials, told LoHud he is recommending his clients appeal the ruling.
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