Ogden Town Judge David A. Murante scolded former Brockport Mayor Connie Castaneda several times last night before he sentenced her to pay a $1,000 fine for renting an illegal apartment to a college student, in open violation of the law.
The Assistant District Attorney had asked Judge Murante to impose the maximum sentence because Castaneda had, “Tried to get tenants to lie to police and code enforcement” and that she had gone, “To great lengths to hide her criminal activity.”
The prosecutor also stated that Cataneda, “Should feel ashamed, but she is unrepentant. Instead of focusing on what she did,” and he asked the judge to punish her.
Castaneda’s lawyer responded by questioning the constitutionality of the New York State law that Castaneda had been convicted of violating, and requested a, “penalty less than the maximum."
When Judge Murante asked Castaneda if she had anything to says, Castaneda told the judge that she had, “No comment.”
That’s when the judge scolded her, telling her that she “Should apologize to the residents of Brockport." Then he added, “Next time leave the gum at home.”
Castaneda had the hutzpah to go in front of the judge while she was chewing a wad of gum.
Murante then told her, “You have no right to violate the law because you disagree with it.”
The assistant District Attorney had asked the judge to impose the maximum penalty, a $250 fine for violating section 58-8a of the Brockport code, $250 for violating Section 54-21B of the Code, $350 for violating Section 36-4A of the Code, $350 for violating Section 36-18A of the Code, and an additional $1,000 for violating Section 102-3 of New York State law.
After reading Castaneda the riot act, Judge Murante fined her $1,100: $250 fine for violating section 58-8a of the code, $250 for violating Section 54-21B of the Code, $350 for violating Section 36-4A of the Code, and $350 for violating Section 36-18A of the Code. He continued the charge of violating Section 102-3 of New York State law.
Judge Murante also sentenced Castaneda to serve 150 hours of community service.
Castaneda had been arrested on March 9, 2012 and charged with numerous Village Cod for having an unregistered, illegal apartment inside her home at of 322 Main Street, Brockport, N.Y. in 2010 and in 2011.
In August, a jury in Ogden Town Court found former Brockport Mayor Connie Castaneda guilty of multiple village code violations.
Castaneda had been renting apartments in her house for years, and telling her tenants that they couldn’t tell anyone that they lived there, and that they should never answer the door.
But one of her former tenants knew that something was wrong about the arrangement, and after moving out of Castaneda’s house, was overwhelmed with guilt feelings, and reported the crime to the police.