Rockland County, NY – The dominoes continue to fall tonight in Ramapo, as the town’s chief building inspector was arrested tonight on a whopping 101 charges.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe charged Anthony Mallia, the town’s director of building, planning and zoning, with falsifying building permits and giving contractors bargain basement prices on housing permits, reported the Journal News.
Zugibe estimated that Mallia’s actions cheated the town out of over $100,000 based on the estimated costs of 33 new residential projects constructed in the 2015 calendar year.
While the investigation found no proof that Mallia profited personally from his actions, Zugibe said that the building inspector’s actions undermined public safety and he criticized Mallia for breaching the public trust by succumbing to the lure of corruption.
“Such self-serving criminal behavior severely undermines public confidence in the government and will not be tolerated,” said Zugibe.
A June lawsuit found Mallia at the center of a controversial housing project on Viola Road that had been granted drastic zoning changes, allowing the builder to quadruple the number of houses constructed on the property.
The lawsuit, which charges the builder with building habitable basements in violation of the approved plans allowing for even more apartments, faults Mallia for allowing construction to continue and giving conditional approval to the units despite the violations.
Mallia was originally hired as a part time inspector for the Town of Ramapo in 2008 at a salary of $24,127. Over the years he has climbed the ranks in Town Hall and currently works full time at a salary of $169,618. His Airmont home, which is listed for sale for $1.29 million, includes a $200,000 addition constructed by the builder of the Viola Road housing development.
Mallia was hit with 33 felony counts on each of three charges: first degree tampering with public records, first degree falsifying business records and offering a false record for filing. He was also charged with one count of second degree grand larceny and a misdemeanor, misdemeanor official misconduct and theft of services.
Mallia was brought in handcuffs tonight to be arraigned in Ramapo Town Court by Judge Karen Riley. Asked how much bail he could afford, Mallia answered “very little.”
Riley said that based on the number of charges and the possibility that he could be a flight risk, she could not release Mallia without bail. She set bail at $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond. Mallia declined to comment on his arrest and is due back in court on October 6th.
A statement issued by Rockland County Executive Ed Day said that events in Ramapo resonate throughout the county.
“When one official responsible for carrying out the taxpayer’s business applies the rules unfairly we all suffer,” said Day. “There is one set of rules, one set of laws that everyone is expected to follow.”