Politics Gone Awry…. the Self-Interest of Elected Officials


Ilan Schoenberger is a member of the Rockland County Legislature, a government entity earning significant attention by Federal Investigators, journalists, FB bloggers and others. Mr. Schoenberger, like Aron Weider, has done everything imaginable in his position as Legislator to join in the fight to destroy public education in Rockland County, specifically East Ramapo, in favor of support for East Ramapo Yeshivas. He has supported any initiative giving more power to his supporters, the voting bloc of ultra-Orthodox in Monsey, New Square and surrounding Rockland County towns.  Now, it would seem, that he may have accepted financing from some shady connections.

We credit the Rockland County Times, initial article written in 2013; but updated after recent findings, March 10, 2016.

The following is from their Facebook site in a posting from March 9, 2016:

“News 12’s report claiming dozens of corruption arrests are imminent in Rockland, stated that in addition to Chris St. Lawrence’s ballpark fiasco, Richard Brega’s $70 million TOR bus contract with the county has been at the center of the ongoing FBI investigation.

In 2013 the Rockland County Times editors, with the assistance of local sleuths including Michael Hull and John Leopoldo, revealed blatantly illegal campaign finance practices conducted by Brega through proxy donors.

Newspapers don’t often editorialize that a crime has taken place absent a criminal conviction, but in this instance, it is difficult to come to any other conclusion.

After over two and a half years, will the FBI be calling him to task?”

Brega Employees and Family Members Gave Massive Donations to Ilan Schoenberger

Posted August 23rd, 2013



Customer Service rep Brandon Sweeting said Ilan Schoenberger deserved his $4,000 contribution because of the good work he does for Rockland County

Update: Following the Rockland County Times breaking the story, the Rockland Journal News discovered an additional $16,000 in donations from Brega related individuals to Ilan Schoenberger, for a total of $48,000, accounting for close to 50 percent of Schoenberger’s contributions in the January-July reporting period

Brega Transport of Valley Cottage recently won a $70 million contract from the County of Rockland after years of legal battles, which pitted County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef against the County Legislature.

It appears that at least one legislator has been more than amply rewarded for his consistent support of Brega: county executive candidate Ilan Schoenberger (D-Wesley Hills/New Square).

Campaign filing reports show that during the months of April and May, Brega family members and employees, including low-level employees, gave a total of $32,000 to Ilan Schoenberger. All eight employee and family members gave the same $4,000 contribution.

Parts manager Paul Dursi was very generous for a mere employee. A $4,000 donation is credited to his name.

Six of the donations occurred on April 11. Customer service advisor Brandon Sweeting gave $4,000. When asked by the Rockland County Times what inspired the generous donation, he said, “I don’t know if there is such a thing as a necessary inspiration, I am just a big fan of his work and he deserved it.”

Brandon claimed he had no trouble affording the large donation and also said there was no group discussion at Brega regarding the donations. The latter claim seems impossible given that several Brega-associated individuals are listed giving the same amount of money on the exact same day.

Donations came from the following persons sources said are associated with Brega:

(Note-the Rockland County Times is still in the process of confirming the identity of the listed people, however three are featured on Brega’s website and we are confident enough in our sources to publish the list at this time)

Bobbi Ann Shanahan – Customer service advisor –  $4,000 on April 11

Paul Dursi – Parts manager – $4,000 on April 11

John Nunes – Brega’s IT specialist – $4,000 on April 11

Mary Ann Paccione – Mother-in-law of one of the Brega brothers – $4,000 on April 11

Joanne Bay – wife of Brega maintenance manager – $4,000  on April 27

James Boyle – Brega transport manager – $4,000  on April 11

Brandon Sweeting – Customer service advisor – $4,000  on April 11

Francis H. Walker, III  – Service manager – $4,000 on April

To read the article as posted by the Rockland County Times, which also has links to County records regarding donations, click here:


6 thoughts on “Politics Gone Awry…. the Self-Interest of Elected Officials

  1. You say that it is important to get people out to vote – I agree – and many volunteers in Rockland/Ramapo put in a major effort to get people out to do so – but it’s not working! Not enough people show up, maybe it’s voter fatigue!
    So my question to everyone – if the same old same old is not working – does anyone have any ‘new’ ideas idea to get people to come out. Maybe with social media? Maybe with block parties? Bumper stickers? What haven’t we tried yet? What can we learn from the presidential campaigns?

    • Susan, check out the activities of communities like Monroe-Woodbury, Toms River, Jackson. Many of these communities have placed lawn signs on the lawns of every family, with permission. These communities need to join forces, raise money together, rally together. The bloc is organized, they have been for years. My guess is they have a playbook like a quarterback in a football game. As well, they tend to vote, in every jurisdiction (including other countries), at the last minute when their poll watchers have counted votes and know how many busses to bring in from places like Crown Heights, Boro-Park and other areas. They do the same thing in Israel, in Belgium, in Canada, in Australia, etc. Keep the votes going through the day but then get voters out later making the counts harder. The only way to beat them is at their own game. In addition, the counties need to demand Identification for voters so that someone like a Twersky cannot have someone voting on behalf of his 4 year old grandchild (random and unsubstantiated example but we are sure it happens). And… share… share…. share…

  2. And no more deals for corrupt Hasidic developers who turn informants and get off with community service and a fine. Back in the nineties, Corrupt Rockland developer Israel Herskowitz bribed several Rockland inspectors to cut corners on his housing developments. One of his houses exploded in W Haverstraw due to a faulty gas regulator. he was caught and was allowed to turn evidence on the inspectors and received no jail time. He is currently building houses on the Ramapo/Clarkstown border and has already been cited for improper silt control sending tons of silt into lake Lucille. No more deals. seize all their assets and NEVER allow them to build even a dog house ever again. Mark stern defrauded banks of over $100 million. He helped the FBI with sting operations including former Spring Valley mayoe Jasmin in a $250,000 fraud. she got 4 years. so Stern should be facing 1600 years if the crimes are proportional. For his cooperation cut his sentence to 100 years. And he still gets to live and keep his Million dollar plus Monsey home which was purchased with stolen money. If he gets no jail time and is allowed to keep his money I will be convinced that it’s pitchfork and torch time.

  3. We understand that Board Trustee Weissmandle (http://nymag.com/news/features/east-ramapo-hasidim-2013-4/index4.html) recommended the sale. The Assessor is in jail. The person who bribed was an investor, from NS we’ve been told; but that is information we still don’t have in full. We are reviewing related information. Rockland County, New York is on our list of most corrupt counties; but we are not sure whether it was ripe for corruption before the expansion of Monsey and NS’s ultra-orthodox communities or whether the corruption was there and the expansion of those communities was facilitated by that corruption. We hope to be able to come to those conclusions as time wears on. It would appear, however, that the State of New York is a dishonest politician’s fantasy land, making toppling non-corrupt towns throughout the State like playing a game of Jenga. Rockland County’s local news reports, which are getting forwarded to us, have been very interesting over the last couple of days along with New York’s NBC News reports on code violations and fire safety. If we had more volunteers, we would post more. California has issues, as we are told, again many similarities; Baltimore is another locale we are watching. Overseas, Australia has tightened rules making corruption more difficult. Israel is taking on all of the criminal rejects from the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox communities and Antwerp is having problems also. As far as the US is concerned, taking over the public schools is an easy game of chess once the pawns are in place. What we think communities should be doing is convincing people to get out and vote. The ease with which public schools are destroyed rests in the elections of members of Boards of Education. In Ramapo, Weissmandl needs to be elected out as do Rothman, Engel and Hopstein. As we see it, the problems rest wholly on the shoulders of people who do not vote. It would be possible to vote these men out if every public school parent voted and strategically after 6pm. The parents need to set up poll watchers and do manual counts. Each voting location needs to have parents watching for improprieties. People must not be complacent. Like any expansionist regime (see our article on that subject), the entire game is predicated upon complacence and strategic placement of votes. Once the right “elected officials” are in place, the last step is dividing and conquering. Please spread the word that we are here. We take information and we research. Please spread the word that people need to get out and vote. We don’t know which trustees in ER are up for re-election this year but we recommend that public school parents unite, play their own numbers game and see how it all pans out. Thanks for the comment.

  4. I enjoy this new site. It is well written. I’m glad that the bloggers from Failed Messiah wont be silenced.
    I’m glad that the s–t finally hit the fan. Sometimes it seems like Ramapo is the most corrupt town in the country. Maybe we will finally find out who bribed the assessor to give a low assessment on Hillcrest Elementary School. I hope “happy days are here again”.

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