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Woman who accused county lawmaker of harassment intends to sue


Monday, November 22nd 2021

Monroe County Legislator Ernest Flagler Mitchell (WHAM file photo - Jan. 2021)

Rochester, N.Y. — LaKaya Sinclair intends to sue Monroe County and Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell after he allegedly harassed and manipulated her.

Sinclair was 20 when she said Flagler-Mitchell offered his help to her following a mass shooting at her home in September 2020.

Instead, Sinclair says Flagler-Mitchell began sending her late-night messages, culminating in an explicit photo - which the married lawmaker has said was intended for his wife.

Monroe County's Board of Ethics determined Flagler-Mitchell had violated one section of the county's code of ethics. The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office said it found no criminal conduct in a review of text messages sent by Flagler-Mitchell.

Sinclair will announce Tuesday that she intends to sue for $1 million for damages to her mental well-being and reputation.

She is represented by Arthur Schwartz and Nate McMurray of Advocates for Justice, a civil rights law firm focused on workplace, community, economic, and environmental justice.

"She deserves justice. We are here because neither the legislature that Mr. Flagler-Mitchell was a part of or the criminal justice system was able to deliver her justice, despite clearly identifying a pattern of misbehavior by Mr. Flagler-Mitchell," McMurray said. "Ms. Sinclair is a young person starting out her life, and this episode has a had a traumatic effect on her. We are proud to represent her, and hopeful that this case will not only bring her justice but prevent any local leader from abusing their power to exploit others as Mr. Flagler-Mitchell has gotten away with for so long.”

Flagler-Mitchell lost his bid for reelection earlier this year. His term ends at the end of this year.

13WHAM will cover Tuesday's press conference and provide updates as they become available.

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