Residents have been active in protesting the development projects of Shalom Lamm. YNN's Eva McKend has the latest, following the investigation by the New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office.
BLOOMINGBURG, N.Y. -- There's been public outcry against Shalom Lamm's Chestnut Ridge housing complex and a proposed Hasidic girls school. Hundreds of people have turned out for public meetings in the Village of Bloomingburg.
With the state attorney general's office now investigating, Lamm says accusations from groups like the Rural Community Coalition (RCC) aren't rooted in fact and are fueled by anti-hasidism.
"We've abided by every letter and dot of the law. Who has closed down the municipal meetings? The developer, or have people come and basically rioted," said Lamm.
The RCC says they are not about anti-hasidism. Instead, they say they feel as though they have been misled and have reached out to the state attorney general's office over the last year in an effort to get answers.
According to Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, the attorney general's office is currently investigating the Bloomingburg development.
"The concern is there was deception, corruption and criminality that led to the approvals for this development. The deception had to do with what was originally proposed which was a 125 luxury golf course community. The intent was always for 396, a large high density development," said Roche.
Residents say for years the development of this project has been shrouded in secrecy. At one point or another, people of political influence in Orange and Sullivan County
have worked for the developer. This is why they say, in part, decisions were made that were beyond their control.
"In one fell swoop, for one developer, changing it from rural to urban," said Roche.
"If there is a charge, let me hear it but if it's because you have relationships with people who are from the 'powerful elite', you have got to be able to do a lot better than that," said Lamm.
Bloomingburg is a small rural community with around 400 residents. Chestnut Ridge could more than double the population.