RAMAPO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some Ramapo protesters are demanding that Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, under federal indictment, step down.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, Luann Dinino has protested every day since the FBI arrested St. Lawrence on April 14.
“Be a man,” Dinino said. “Have a little sense of dignity left in your body and resign.”
St. Lawrence is accused of lying about the town’s precarious finances so Ramapo could sell bonds for his pet projects, including a minor league ballpark.
Investigators believe the town is millions of dollars in the red.
“It’s going to fall back on the taxpayer,” said Ramapo resident Camille Saunders. “Who do you think is going to pick up the tab for all this? We are. Not him. We are.”
Protesters say because New York is one of 21 states that does not allow a recall election for a local official, their only option is to keep up the pressure for St. Lawrence to resign. Some protesters have even painted their lawns with “#CSLResign.”
Many homes have signs protesting overdevelopment in the town.
Critics say St. Lawrence has catered to the fast-growing Hasidic community, where he maintains strong support.
“It’s a witch hunt,” said one man who would not give his name. “(U.S. Attorney Preet) Bharara is on a witch hunt.”
“I say he should continue to serve,” another man said.
CBS2 sought comment from St. Lawrence Friday, but he was not at his office. He has pleaded not guilty and said he’s looking forward to his day in court.
“I do believe that everybody is innocent until proven guilty, but I also believe and I was also taught that when you do something wrong, you man up,” said Jen DeFerrari of Ramapo.
St. Lawrence has resigned from two unelected positions with Rockland County.
Protesters are hoping for a big crowd at a rally Saturday morning at Town Hall.