By Mark Gerlach
Pastor Roni Austin, director of the Youth Empowerment Center, has been charged with felony offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, City of Newburgh Police Chief Daniel Cameron confirmed early Thursday afternoon.
A one-year lease agreement for the Youth Empowerment Center, located on the first floor of 104 South Lander St., was granted by the city council symbolically for $1 in late September. The center is funded through grants and donations, and provides a space for youth aged 8 to 18 to have a hot meal, learn skills (e.g., computer skills) and receive homework help.
The charge, a class E felony, stems from business records submitted to the city, Cameron said. The city forwarded the matter to police to investigate. Details surrounding the incident were unclear Thursday evening. A class E felony is punishable by up to four years in prison.
Austin cooperated during the investigation, and turned herself into police on May 27, Cameron said. She was released on her own recognizance, and will appear again in city court later in June.
The case was sent to Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler’s office for further review, Cameron said. The investigation is ongoing.
For the complete story see the Friday, June 3 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.
Laura Giner Bair contributed to this report.