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Spring Valley Mayor Says Don’t Prejudge Her

Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin speaks to reporters on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 (credit: CBS 2)

Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin speaks to reporters on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 (credit: CBS 2)

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SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A Rockland County mayor caught up in a federal corruption investigation is asking constituents not to prejudge her.

Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin was charged Tuesday with mail fraud in a complaint centering on New York City politics. She allegedly voted to approve development of a community center in exchange for being a secret part-owner of the land.

On Wednesday, Jasmin refused to discuss the charge. But she read a statement and asked the community to pray for her.

“On the advice of my counsel, I cannot discuss the case or allegations against me as long as there are outstanding charges,” she said. “We will vigorously defend against those charges.”

As WCBS 880′s Sean Adams reported, Jasmin allegedly sold her vote for a community center to be built on a weed-covered drainage ditch next to Village Hall. The project was a fabrication of the FBI undercover operation, Adams reported.

A lawyer for Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret who is also accused of mail fraud, would not comment Wednesday on the charge. But the lawyer said Desmaret continues to enjoy a good reputation.

Jasmin and Desmaret were among six people arrested Tuesday, including State Sen. Malcolm Smith and New York City Councilmember Dan Halloran.

They are all due back in court on April 23.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)