METRO NYC - ROCKLAND CO, NY: FIREFIGHTERS CALL FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY TO STEP DOWN OVER PLEA DEAL INVOLVING 2021 FATAL FIREFIGHTER FIRE.

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Rockland fire departments call for DA to step down over plea deal in 2021 fatal fire

Jun 22, 2023, 7:17amUpdated 1d ago

By: News 12 Staff

A number of Rockland County fire departments are calling for District Attorney Thomas Walsh to resign over a plea deal in the 2021 Spring Valley fire that killed a resident and firefighter.

Rockland's volunteer firefighters first raised their voices at the county courthouse on Tuesday. They continued to speak out on Thursday, with many demanding Walsh resign because of the plea deal given to father-and-son Rabbis Nathaniel and Aaron Sommer. They will receive probation, fines and no jail time.

Authorities accused the two of sparking the deadly fire at the Evergreen Assisted Living facility in March 2021 while koshering the kitchen with a blowtorch.

The fire killed Spring Valley firefighter Jared Lloyd and a facility resident, 79-year-old Oliver Hueston.

"Justice wasn't served. It was even less than a slap on the wrist what happened to these individuals," said Sloatsburg Fire Department Chief Matthew Swanson.

The Sloatsburg Fire Department, which has about 40 active members, was one of the first to publicly call on Walsh to step down. The department said Walsh and anyone from his office can no longer attend their events.

"Everybody's thinking the same way we are," Swanson said.

The Rockland County Fire Chiefs Association is now calling on Walsh to resign.

Hillburn, West Haverstraw's Volunteer Hose Company No. 2, and Stony Point's Wayne Hose Company have followed suit with letters of their own.

Walsh is running unopposed in this upcoming election .

News 12 reached out to Walsh for comment but had not heard back as of Thursday evening.





N.Y. FFs demand resignation of D.A. in LODD plea deal

Firefighters voice their outrage after rabbis that started the fatal Spring Valley fire are given probation


Today at 8:58 AM


By Bill Carey
FireRescue1

ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. — New York firefighters are demanding that Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Walsh resign after accepting a plea deal in the death of a firefighter and nursing home resident in a 2021 fire.

Firefighters protested outside of the county courthouse when sentencing was announced for father-and-son Rabbis Nathaniel and Aaron Sommer, News12 reported.

Nathaniel and Aaron Sommer admitted to Judge Kevin Russo using a blowtorch and coals to koshering the kitchen of the Evergreen Court Assisted Living Facility in Spring Valley, which started the fatal fire.

Firefighters from four fire departments and the Rockland County Fire Chiefs Association have issued statements calling for Walsh to resign.

The Sloatsburg Fire Department statement banned Walsh and others from his office from attending fire department events.

 
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Feb 20, 2024
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Wow, this situation sounds like a real mess. It's heartbreaking to hear about the lives lost in that tragic fire. It's no wonder the firefighters are furious over the plea deal—it seems like a slap in the face to the victims and their families.
Calling for the District Attorney to step down makes sense if folks feel justice wasn't served. Can't blame 'em for wanting accountability.
If you're still scratching your head over this, maybe consider chatting with some director disqualification experts. They might have some insights on the legal side of things and could shed some light on what's going on.
 
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Mar 30, 2023
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Probation???????? Probation, for setting fire to a GODDAMN ASSISTED LIVING FACITILY? Alright let me cool down, these two need to see 25 to life with a chance of parole as the minimum. Blowtorching the place, killing a resident and a firefighter. The fact that the DA actually though "let me give two murderers a plea deal that killed 2 people including a firefighter" Shame on him
 
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