The former police chief of Rochester, New York, is suing the mayor and the city for $1.5 million in damages, arguing his character was defamed and he was wrongfully terminated following the investigation into Daniel Prude’s death.
Former Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary filed a 26-page civil lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court late Tuesday seeking damages from Mayor Lovely A. Warren and the City of Rochester over the alleged “defamation of character, the creation of a hostile work environment preventing his fulfilling the duties of chief of police and his wrongful and retaliatory termination” effective since September 2020.
Singletary filed a notice of claim in December, accusing the mayor of defamation of character, wrongful termination, and more.
The civil suit, filed Tuesday afternoon in New York State Supreme Court, is 26 pages long, and details Singletary’s complaints against the mayor.
NEW: I’ve just obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed by former Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary. Live report coming up on @News_8 at 4, 5 and 6 this afternoon.
— Jack Watson (@JackWatsonTV) September 1, 2021
“As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character,” Singletary said at the time he announced his resignation, taking a veiled shot at Warren. “The events over the past week are an attempt to destroy my character and integrity. The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for. The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death are not based on facts, and are not what I stand for.”
Shortly after the announcement, Warren fired Singletary. The former Rochester police chief then filed a notice of claim to the city alleging defamation of character, hostile work environment, and wrongful and retaliatory termination wherein he accused Warren of repeatedly telling him to lie over the Prude case.
“I repeatedly refused to lie for Mayor Warren,” Singletary said in the filing. “Pressure to support Mayor Warren’s narrative also came from other city officials.”
According to WHEC 10 News, court records show the former police chief is alleging in the suit that Warren defamed his character, fostered a hostile work environment, and was wrongfully terminated in retaliation.
An attorney hired to independently investigate the city’s handling of the Prude case found in March that the city “suppressed” information and many “untrue statements,” the report detailed.
“During a deposition shortly before the attorney general’s announcement, Singletary answered numerous questions about his knowledge of the events the night Prude had an encounter with officers. He also testified about who he talked to about the case,” WHEC 10 News explained. “A lot of the questions were focused on two phone calls between Singletary and Warren. In a statement at the time, the city claims Singletary told the mayor that everything had been done ‘by the book.’”
City spokesman Justin Roj issued a statement in response to the suit which included a blanket statement condemning the RPD for a “legacy” of “untruthfulness” and accused Singletary of lying.
“As detailed in recent court proceedings reported today involving other officers, there has been a legacy in the Rochester Police Department of untruthfulness,” the statement read. “Mr. Singletary’s testimony to the Special Counsel detailed his own inability to tell the truth, as a simple viewing of his testimony under oath clearly shows. Mr. Singletary failed in his duties as Chief and was rightfully terminated due to those failures.”
Warren, who suffered numerous high-profile scandals under her tenure, was shellacked in a primary challenge from fellow Democrat Malik Evans in June.
Notably, before the primary, Warren was indicted on two felony campaign finance charges “that threatened to remove her from office if she was convicted,” The New York Times reported.
And this summer, the Democrat’s home was raided in connection to a major seven-month-long drug investigation. Warren’s husband, Timothy Granison, was arrested and hit with two drug charges and one gun charge. The Daily Wire reported on takeaways from the press conference announcing the shocking news:
- Granison’s arrest was part of a seven-months-long investigation; he was not the initial target
- There were numerous warrants executed on Wednesday night, in addition to the Granison/Warren home. Seven locations were hit between Wednesday night and Thursday morning and more arrests are expected.
- At the time of the arrest, only the couple’s daughter was home, prompting questions from reporters concerning potential child endangerment charges in relation to the gun charge. Doorley refused to comment but noted more charges are coming.
- There have already been 2 kilos of crack cocaine confiscated from the busts, which equates to a street value of more than $60,000. Three firearms have been confiscated and more than $100,000 in cash was recovered.
- Doorly would not confirm nor deny Mayor Warren’s potential involvement in the investigation, including wire-tapping.
Sources: Daily Wire, Yahoo News, Rochester, WHEC 10 News, New York Times