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The Latest: State lawmaker pleads not guilty in fraud case

January 9, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the indictment of New York state Assemblywoman Pamela Harris (all times local):

5:35 p.m.

A New York state assemblywoman who authorities say falsely claimed Superstorm Sandy forced her from her home has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.

Pamela Harris faces an 11-count indictment in Brooklyn federal court. She is a former correction officer elected as a Democrat in 2015 to represent Coney Island and other nearby Brooklyn communities.

Prosecutors say the 57-year-old pocketed $25,000 in federal funds by falsely claiming the 2012 storm chased her from her Coney Island residence. They say she committed other fraud, including cheating the New York City Council out of discretionary funds meant for nonprofits. An obstruction-of-justice count alleges she convinced others to lie.

Her attorneys called Harris a “well-regarded legislator” and noted that none of the allegations relates to her conduct in office.

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11:48 a.m.

A New York state assemblywoman has been indicted on fraud charges after authorities say she falsely claimed Superstorm Sandy forced her from her home.

Pamela Harris, a former correction officer elected as a Democrat in November 2015, faces an 11-count indictment in Brooklyn federal court.

The assemblywoman representing Coney Island and other nearby Brooklyn communities is accused of committing the crimes between 2012 and 2016. Her lawyer declined comment prior to her arraignment.

Prosecutors say the 57-year-old Harris pocketed $25,000 in federal funds by falsely claiming that the Oct. 29, 2012 storm chased her from her Coney Island residence. They say she committed other fraud, including cheating the New York City Council out of discretionary funds meant for non-profits. An obstruction-of-justice count alleges she convinced others to lie.

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