Star witness takes stand in Ramapo supervisor’s corruption trialPosted: Updated:
The prosecution's star witness took the stand Tuesday in the federal corruption trial against Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence.
Aaron Troodler admitted to his own wrongdoing while pointing the finger squarely at St. Lawrence.
"It took me a long time to accept that I did something wrong,” said Troodler, the former executive director of the Ramapo Local Development Corporation and right-hand man to St. Lawrence.
Like St. Lawrence, Troodler was indicted on fraud and conspiracy charges in connection to the sale of $25 million in municipal bonds to pay for Provident Bank Park.
Instead of going to trial, Troodler took a plea deal and is now the government's principal witness against the town supervisor.
Troodler admitted to turning a blind eye while the books were cooked to make the town's finances seem much stronger than they were. He also says he helped orchestrate a fraud scheme for years and lied about it to federal investigators to protect his job, his family and his future.
Under direct examination, Troodler said work had begun on the stadium before they received the funding. He also said that because of intense pressure from St. Lawrence, everyone in the office did everything they could to move the project forward, despite red flags every step of the way.
Troodler stopped short of saying he conspired with St. Lawrence to commit crimes, but he did say that all the lies he told to investigators were to protect St. Lawrence and himself from all that they had done.
Despite becoming the government's principal witness, Troodler could still face jail time in the case.