Ramapo’s supervisor of fiscal services testified in her defense yesterday that her superiors told her to keep quiet and put her complaints in writing when she complained the town was overestimating projected revenues in a financial statement, and potentially committing fraud, The Journal News/lohud.com reports.
Melissa Reimer, who has held the position since 2002, made the statements during a four-hour hearing on perjury and other charges the town filed against her. It was the third round of testimony this month. She reported around 2010 that town revenue projections of $32 million were overestimated on a financial statement needed for a bond application, which she believed constituted fraud and violated federal securities law.
“It was a short period of time where they were telling people who were buying the bonds that they were gonna have this much revenue,” she testified. “It wasn’t possible.”
Reimer said she reported this and other concerns about the town’s financial dealings, including improper money transfers, to numerous town employees including her boss, Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, over a period of about three years.
Her most recent complaint was in June, immediately before she was suspended from her job, she said.
In response to her reports, Reimer said, she was laughed at and essentially told to “shut up,” “play ball” or “go along with it to make the supervisor (St. Lawrence) happy.” One employee suggested she quit her job if she didn’t like it, Reimer said.
“I’m trying to report fraud and nobody’s listening,” said Reimer, a certified public accountant who lives in Suffern.
Reimer said she complained to St. Lawrence, who is also the director of finance; Deputy Finance Director Nathan Oberman, who is also the town tax receiver; head Town Attorney Michael Klein; former Deputy Supervisor Fran Hunter; and Aaron Troodler, a deputy town attorney, among others.
Town Attorney Michael Specht is prosecuting the case involving the second set of disciplinary charges Reimer is fighting this year.