THE STORY CONTINUES
On July 24, 2014, FailedMessiah.com’s Shmarya Rosenberg reported on the Scandal-Plagued Haredi Controlled School District of East Ramapo, New York, the East Ramapo Central School District (ERCSD). Rosenberg told the sordid story of the sale of Colton Elementary School, closed in 2009, when public school enrollment was falsely reported as declining; but in fact soaring. The school, along with a string of others, sold at far below fair market value rates to a Yeshiva, despite legal efforts to put a stop to the sale.
Among the long list of schools within East Ramapo, sold at below fair market value, with the help of shady appraisers and allegedly leveraged government officials includes:
The Former Reuben Gittlemen school located at 360 West Hempstead Road and sold for $6,925,00 in September of 2012. Rosenberg notes that its 6.7 acre plot was included in the sale.
70 Highview Road sold for $7,000,000 in August of 2012 and sits on 5.43 acres, which were included in the sale.
Unlike those schools, Colton Elementary sold for $6,600,000, less $1.5 million in rent credits for a net sale price of $5,100,000.00. However, unlike the other schools, Hillcrest sits on 21 acres of land, all of which were included in the sale.
Yehuda Weissmandl, still the president of the school board, was quoted as saying “This long-awaited and extensively reviewed transaction makes sense for the district. It clears the district of a continuing liability for the property and generates sorely needed revenues for public school programs.”
LostMessiah wants to know, what happened to that much needed revenue? Certainly the public school children within the school system, studying in aged and decrepit buildings, with little or no supplies and all extra-curricular programs cut, nearly, have not seen a single $.01 for the sale of that property, even as of today’s date 3.4.16.
Both Hillcrest and Colton were sold to the same Skvere Hasidic Organization, a community centered around the incorporated village of New Square. At the time of the writing of Shmayra’s article, the appraiser, Avi M. Vardi was arrested on bribery charges to undervalue the property. However, the case disappeared into the Court system in East Ramapo/Rockland County, New York.
Rosenberg notes that the Skvere officials, who were connected to the alleged bribery charges have, to date, not been named in any cases nor arrested for bribery.
LostMessiah notes that same or similar things are being reported throughout the country, in Lakewood-Tom’s River, Monroe-Woodbury and other districts across the country. The following is a reprint of FailedMessiah.com’s article. We note that the crimes alleged within that article are still ongoing. Weissmandl, a controversial figure in East Ramapo, particularly within the secular and non-Jewish community of families deeply affected by his distorted view of the flow the funds, remains president of ERCSD. He is no more likely today, to act in the best interest of all East Ramapo’s school children now, then he was at the time of the publication of FailedMessiah.com’s article. We hope to continue looking into this subject.
LostMessiah, March 4, 2016
July 24, 2014