Spring Valley Trustee Vilair Fonvil arrives on the Rockland County Courthouse with lawyer Kenneth Gribetz, to be arraigned on corruption fees, April 25, 2017.
NEW CITY – Prosecutors and protection attorneys gave opening statements to a decide this morning within the corruption case towards Spring Valley Trustee Vilair Fonvil and village contractor Jermika Depas.
The trial, which resumes at 2:30 p.m in the present day, is earlier than County Courtroom Decide Kevin Russo. Fonvil and Depas, who face public corruption charges, for allegedly misappropriating government money, waived their right to a jury trial.
INDICTMENT: Vilair Fonvil and Jermika Depas charged
PREVIOUS: Fonvil arrested
EDITORIAL: Spring Valley Trustee Vilair Fonvil must resign
Prosecutor Richard Kennison Moran opened the trial with his statement accusing the defendants of concocting a fraud scheme using transportation to a summer camp to veil their efforts.
“The evidence will show that in the summer of 2016, with the help of Jermika Depas, Mr. Fonvil violated (the) public’s trust,” Moran said. “He used his position to steal and misappropriate over $10,000 from the citizens of Spring Valley.”
Spring Valley trustee Vilair Fonvil has been charged with four felonies. The troubled village, now more than ever, needs focused leadership.
Video by Nancy Cutler/lohud
Following Moran, defense attorneys Kevin Dunlap for Fonvil and Samuel Coe for Depas outlined their arguments that the prosecutor’s accusations don’t add up.
“(Moran) is trying to cram a triangular block into a square hole,” Dunlap said. “The evidence will not fit.”
Dunlap also attacked the credibility of the prosecutor’s potential witnesses, saying that one has a criminal record and was once an ally of Fonvil.
On behalf of Depas, Coe said his client had nothing to do with stealing money. Rather, she was unknowingly caught up in “political animosity” between Fonvil and the village’s mayor, Coe said.
The defense is not required to prove anything or even call witnesses.
Dunlap and Coe said Friday that the charges are baseless and will prove their clients didn’t steal village money or commit any crime. They claimed the village politics led to the criminal charges.
Fonvil, a controversial figure for his public feud with Mayor Demeza Delhomme, would lose his government seat if convicted of any one of the multiple felony charges in the indictment.
The charges against Fonvil and Depas include third-degree grand larceny as a crime of public corruption, third-degree corrupting the…