Brooklyn assemblywoman indicted on fraud and other charges

Posted: Updated:
CONEY ISLAND -

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.

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 nonprofits, allegedly diverting them into her own bank account. 

The charges include wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud and witness tampering.

She also faces a charge of obstruction of justice. Authorities say that when she learned investigators were closing in on her, she instructed witnesses to lie to them.

She is accused of committing the crimes between 2012 and 2016. Her lawyer declined comment prior to her arraignment.

She represents Coney Island and other nearby Brooklyn communities.

If convicted of the top charge, Harris faces up to 30 years in prison.

She pleaded not guilty and was released on $150,000 bond.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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