Two Clarkstown town workers are being charged in connection with the burglary of an unoccupied West Nyack home while they were working on town time and using a town truck, according to Clarkstown police.
Sgt. Harry Baumann said town employees Daniel Lettre, 33, of New City, who is the son of Clarkstown public works administrator Edward Lettre, and Douglas DeMarsico, 34, of New City are accused in an incident at a house at Van Houten Fields.
Baumann said Daniel Lettre is accused of third-degree burglary and petty larceny, with DeMarsico accused of petty larceny.
Edward Lettre, in addition to being head of the town's public works programs, is leader of the Conservative Party in Rockland County.
Clarkstown town officials said DeMarsico and Daniel Lettre have both been suspended from their town jobs without pay pending the results of the ongoing investigation.
The two employees are part of clean up crews that work throughout the town. Currently, those workers are overseen by Edward Lettre's department.
Edward Lettre said that since the allegations against his son were revealed he has removed himself from the matter, letting other officials in his department and the Town Attorney's Office handle the personnel issue. He noted that in the normal course of business he does not directly supervisor his son.
As the matter is being investigated, Edward Lettre said his role is that of a parent, not an administrator.
"As a parent, your kids sometimes go astray and you hope they can find their way back," Edward Lettre said from his office on the ground floor of Town Hall in New City. "I hope they recognize what they did was wrong and they get the opportunity to redeem themselves. As a parent, you hope they can learn from this."
Edward Lettre said that as a public official, he hopes his son does not receive any preferential treatment. However, he said he hopes his son is not treated more harshly than anyone else because of his father's position in government of politics.
Baumann said that at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday the police department received a report of a burglary at 85 Van Houten Fields. He said the owner of the vacant house was called by a witness who observed two individuals taking items from the home.
He said an investigation led to today's arrest of Daniel Lettre and DeMarsico.
Police said the burglary included the theft of plumbing that was removed from walls in the Van Houten Fields house. Police said the incident took place on Monday and that there was evidence that rooms throughout the house were illegally entered.
DeMarsico was issued an appearance ticket to appear in Town Court and Daniel Lettre was arraigned in Town Court and ordered held in the Rockland County Correctional Facility in New City on $2,500 bail. He is to appear in Town Court on Monday.
According to Clarkstown's 2010 Salaray Schedule, Douglas Demarsico is listed as a Groundsworker, earning $46,237 and Daniel Lettre is listed as a Senior Groundsworker, earning $55,084.