SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (AP) — The mayor of a suburban New York village remained jailed Monday over a dispute involving a children’s day camp.
Mayor Demeza Delhomme, who was jailed Friday on a contempt of court charge, could stay behind bars until he complies with a judge’s order to open a summer day camp in Spring Valley.
“He can’t get out until he removes the contempt and follows the court’s order,” Rockland Sheriff’s Office Chief William Barbera told the Journal News ( http://lohud.us/1sljeh1 ) on Monday.
The camp’s youth director had gotten into a conflict with the mayor and was suspended on undisclosed disciplinary charges. That meant camp couldn’t be held as planned, village attorney Jerrold Miles said.
Last week, state Supreme Court Justice Gerald Loehr ordered the camp open instead at the village’s Louis Kurtz Civic Center. Three village trustees who voted on July 2 to open the camp took legal action when the mayor ignored their decision.
About 20 children had signed up for the 14-year-old program, and Delhomme had assured Loehr he would open the civic center for the camp. But when two trustees said some office doors at the center remained locked on Friday, Delhomme was arrested.
“I was stunned that the judge would make the decision to put a political official in jail based on whether or not a key was provided for an office,” Miles said.
The Journal News says the mayor has had a contentious relationship with several of the village trustees. A majority of three have formed a bloc vote to run the village, bypassing the mayor and his deputy, who at times has also fought with Delhomme.
Information from: The Journal News, http://www.lohud.com