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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/politics/state-and-local

San Francisco mayor admits past romance, $5G car-repair loan from subject of FBI corruption probe

San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Friday admitted having a 20-year friendship and brief romantic relationship with a former city worker now under FBI investigation, prompting some to call for her resignation.

“I write this in the spirit of transparency because in the wake of a scandal at City Hall, I think San Franciscans are entitled to hear directly from their Mayor,” Breed wrote in a post on Medium of her association with former San Francisco public works director Mohammed Nuru, who was indicted for public corruption last month.

At a news conference, Breed explained she wrote the post because there were “a number of rumors” swirling and she wanted San Franciscans to hear about the relationship directly from her, the Bay Area’s FOX 2 reported.

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Westlake Legal Group nuru-breed San Francisco mayor admits past romance, $5G car-repair loan from subject of FBI corruption probe fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/us fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/san-francisco fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/regulation/corruption fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 298e7fc0-ac5c-51e5-ba14-73be29346721

Former director of San Francisco Public Works Mohammed Nuru (left) and San Francisco Mayor London Breed (right). (AP/Office of Mayor London Breed )

Breed wrote she was profoundly shocked and disappointed when she heard about the charges against Nuru.

“To be clear,” she wrote. “I never asked Mohammed Nuru to do anything improper, and he never asked me to do anything improper.”

Still, she admitted accepting $5,600 from Nuru last year for a car repair she hasn’t paid back yet. She said the disclosure was not required but she did it out of transparency.

Supervisor Gordon Mar suggested the mayor should temporarily step back from her duties, according to FOX 2.

EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR WITH KAMALA HARRIS? FORMER SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR, 84, ADMITS IT HAPPENED

“Mayor Breed’s admission of thousands of dollars in unreported gifts from a subordinate is likely illegal, certainly unethical, and part of a culture of casual corruption that is eroding the faith of the public,” Mar said in a statement. “Given the seriousness of this admission, the direct connection to the central figure in the FBI’s investigation into public corruption, I believe we need to put the people of San Francisco first. I believe Mayor Breed should do the right thing and temporarily step back from her duties until a full, independent investigation can be completed.”

“Mayor Breed’s admission of thousands of dollars in unreported gifts from a subordinate is likely illegal, certainly unethical, and part of a culture of casual corruption that is eroding the faith of the public.”

— San Francisco Supervisor Gordon Mar

Supervisor Hillary Ronen, a political opponent, called the admission “troubling” and said Breed should resign.

Supervisor Dean Preston said Breed should appear before the  Board of Supervisors.

“I am deeply concerned with revelations today that Mayor London Breed violated San Francisco law by taking thousands of dollars in gifts from a City Hall subordinate,” he tweeted.

Breed added, “I will not apologize for dating someone two decades ago. I will not apologize for remaining close friends with him and his family for 20 more years. But neither will I make excuses for any misdeeds.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Nuru and restaurant owner Nick Bovis were arrested late last month and charged with corruption and lying to the FBI.

They are accused of attempting to bribe an airport commissioner to vote in favor of allowing a business owned by Bovis at the airport and accepting gifts from a Chinese developer in town for business, FOX 2 reported.

Nuru resigned this week but both men deny the accusations.

Westlake Legal Group nuru-breed San Francisco mayor admits past romance, $5G car-repair loan from subject of FBI corruption probe fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/us fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/san-francisco fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/regulation/corruption fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 298e7fc0-ac5c-51e5-ba14-73be29346721   Westlake Legal Group nuru-breed San Francisco mayor admits past romance, $5G car-repair loan from subject of FBI corruption probe fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/us fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/san-francisco fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/regulation/corruption fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 298e7fc0-ac5c-51e5-ba14-73be29346721

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Florida governor orders probe of agency whose CEO received nearly $5M in paid time off

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered an investigation following financial disclosures of a private anti-domestic violence agency, hired by the state, whose former CEO received an annual salary of more than $700,000 — and who reportedly received a total of nearly $5 million in paid time off over a four-year period.

The contract of Tiffany Carr, who led the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence for two decades, granted her 50 paid days off per year since 2010, the Miami Herald reported, in addition to other perks such as a car allowance and time at “an executive retreat at the place of her choosing.”

At least two staffers working under Carr also received lucrative time-off arrangements, according to the newspaper.

GROWING NUMBER OF AMERICANS SPEND 30 PERCENT OR MORE OF INCOME ON RENT, HARVARD REPORT CLAIMS

Carr stepped down from the job, citing a “significant health diagnosis,” following a joint Herald and Tampa Bay Times investigation in July 2018 into her compensation and a subsequent order by the state Department of Children and Families to audit Carr’s agency, the Herald reported.

Details of the agency’s finances were finally revealed to state lawmakers Thursday, prompting the governor’s call for an investigation.

Westlake Legal Group tiffany-car-option-2-1 Florida governor orders probe of agency whose CEO received nearly $5M in paid time off fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 9b446a22-456f-5ab9-ab73-e2964aaa0287

​​​​​​​Tiffany Carr, then the executive director of Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, left, speaks at a news conference held by Gov. Jeb Bush, background right, Sept. 28, 2004, in Tallahassee, Fla. (Associated Press)

“After many months of obstruction by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the governor’s office received deeply disturbing information regarding the organization’s practices over the past several years,’’ DeSantis’ office said in a statement. “These practices include exorbitant compensation payouts, abuse of state dollars, withholding of information, and breach of public trust.”

The Florida House also voted to subpoena Carr and the agency’s board of directors as the state examines thousands of pages of newly released documents, according to the Associated Press.

BRITISH SOCIALITE STOLE NEARLY $300G FROM GRANDMOTHER WITH DEMENTIA: REPORT

DeSantis, a Republican who took office in January 2019, also ordered the head of the state’s child welfare agency to review contracts with the domestic-violence organization, which distributes state and federal money to organizations that help victims of abuse.

“My administration will not tolerate wasteful or fraudulent spending, particularly by an organization that purports to serve the vulnerable victims of domestic violence,” DeSantis said.

“My administration will not tolerate wasteful or fraudulent spending, particularly by an organization that purports to serve the vulnerable victims of domestic violence.”

— Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Westlake Legal Group AP19134656020276 Florida governor orders probe of agency whose CEO received nearly $5M in paid time off fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 9b446a22-456f-5ab9-ab73-e2964aaa0287

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at news conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Jan. 29, 2019. (Associated Press)​​​

“As to the measures that we’re taking, they’re extraordinary, I would say, but these are extraordinary circumstances,” Republican House Speaker Jose Oliva told reporters after the vote on subpoenas.

The House had been seeking more information about Carr’s pay ever since the newspapers first raised questions in 2018, The Associated Press reported.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Scott Howell, the coalition’s president of internal and external affairs, did not immediately respond to an AP message seeking comment.

During House floor debate, Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani said Carr’s salary was appalling.

“When we work at our local domestic shelters, we know that every penny counts, and when you have a CEO being paid that much money as survivors need support, it should be something that appalls each one of us,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Westlake Legal Group tiffany-car-option-2 Florida governor orders probe of agency whose CEO received nearly $5M in paid time off fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 9b446a22-456f-5ab9-ab73-e2964aaa0287   Westlake Legal Group tiffany-car-option-2 Florida governor orders probe of agency whose CEO received nearly $5M in paid time off fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 9b446a22-456f-5ab9-ab73-e2964aaa0287

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NJ mayor admits getting drunk at party, removing pants, passing out in employee’s bed, report says

The mayor of a New Jersey town admitted he recently got drunk at a party at a township employee’s house, took off his pants and passed out in her bed, according to a report.

Mayor John Roth said he apologized to the unidentified employee, NorthJersey.com reported.

The story came to light after an anonymous letter signed by the “concerned employees of the township of Mahwah” detailed the incident. The letter was circulated last week, the report said.

SOME PEOPLE THINK CORONAVIRUS, CORONA BEER ARE RELATED, INTERNET SEARCH QUERIES SUGGESTS

Roth was elected Nov. 6, 2018, on the same ballot in which former Mayor Bill Laforet was recalled from office, NorthJersey.com reported.

Westlake Legal Group mayorroth-cropped-447am NJ mayor admits getting drunk at party, removing pants, passing out in employee's bed, report says Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc b783cdde-6f1d-5038-bf20-a1815099554c article

Mahwah (N.J.) Mayor John Roth (Township of Mahwah website)

The effort to recall Laforet was launched in January 2018  by a group of citizens who were upset about his 2015 accusations against former Department of Public Works Director Ed Sinclair for having pornography on his work computer, based on an anonymous letter Laforet received.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Sinclair died a few months later and his family filed suit against Mahwah for wrongful death, saying the stress of the ordeal contributed to his demise.

Click here for more from NorthJersey.com.

Westlake Legal Group mayorroth-cropped-447am NJ mayor admits getting drunk at party, removing pants, passing out in employee's bed, report says Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc b783cdde-6f1d-5038-bf20-a1815099554c article   Westlake Legal Group mayorroth-cropped-447am NJ mayor admits getting drunk at party, removing pants, passing out in employee's bed, report says Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc b783cdde-6f1d-5038-bf20-a1815099554c article

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey trips over her dog, fractures shoulder: reports

Gov. Kay Ivey warned Alabamans on Wednesday that they can expect to see her with one of her arms in a sling following a Tuesday night fall.

The governor said in a statement that she expects no disruption of her work schedule after tripping over her dog Missy and fracturing one of her shoulders, Birmingham’s FOX6 reported.

“Alabama’s First Dog Missy is such a fun and active friend to have at home, and she is fiercely protective,” Ivey wrote. “Last night, she unintentionally tripped me up, and I hit my shoulder. You’ll see me in a sling, but this won’t slow me down a bit! I’ll keep you posted on the recovery, but most importantly, Missy is also doing just fine!”

ROY MOORE SUES CONSERVATIVE OUTLET FOR $40 MILLION ALLEGING ‘FAKE NEWS’

It wasn’t clear from the statement or from local news reports whether the governor’s left or right shoulder was injured.

The governor is expected to deliver the annual State of the State address next Tuesday, FOX6 reported. On Wednesday, Ivey congratulated President Trump after he signed the USMCA trade agreement.

“What an exciting day for our country as @POTUS officially signs #USMCA!” the governor wrote. “Alabama is grateful for the hard work & leadership of @realDonaldTrump & all involved for bringing this monumental deal to fruition. Thank you for supporting the American people!”

Ivey, 75, a Republican, became Alabama’s governor in April 2017 following the resignation of her predecessor, Robert Bentley. She was then elected outright in November 2018.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-fee239b28667408cb98c01519bb11498 Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey trips over her dog, fractures shoulder: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/politics/state-and-local/governors fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio c8cbe6a4-1ee8-512a-a680-63e229172512 article

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks to the media in Montgomery, Ala., Nov. 17, 2017. (Associated Press)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Earlier this month Ivey announced she had received a positive report from her doctor following radiation treatment for a cancerous spot found on one of her lungs, according to AL.com.

In November 2018, Ivey’s 14-year-old Chow mix, named Bear, died after a struggle with some health issues, AL.com reported. Ivey had adopted that dog from a local veterinarian after it was struck by a car, the report said.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-fee239b28667408cb98c01519bb11498 Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey trips over her dog, fractures shoulder: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/politics/state-and-local/governors fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio c8cbe6a4-1ee8-512a-a680-63e229172512 article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-fee239b28667408cb98c01519bb11498 Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey trips over her dog, fractures shoulder: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/politics/state-and-local/governors fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio c8cbe6a4-1ee8-512a-a680-63e229172512 article

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Virginia House advances gun control measures — just days after gun-rights rally

RICHMOND, Va.  — Democrats in the Virginia House are advancing a package of gun-control measures less than a week after tens of thousands of pro-gun advocates from around the country rallied at the state Capitol.

But the advancing bills don’t yet include a proposed assault weapon ban, a top priority for Gov. Ralph Northam and one that’s drawn fierce resistance from gun-rights advocates.

A Democratic-led House committee voted Friday for several pieces of gun legislation that a Republican majority has blocked for years. Those bills include limiting handgun purchases to once a month; universal background checks on gun purchases; allowing localities to ban guns in public buildings, parks and other areas; and a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others.

HAWAII EYES EVEN STRICTER GUN LAWS IN WAKE OF SHOOTING THAT KILLED 2 POLICE OFFICERS

“Our action today is for the families who have lost loved ones as a result of gun violence,” House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said.

The measures will go to the full House for a vote, likely next week, before going to the Senate, which has already passed some gun-control bills of its own.

Westlake Legal Group richmond-rally-3 Virginia House advances gun control measures -- just days after gun-rights rally fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/state-and-local/legislation fox-news/politics/state-and-local fnc/politics fnc cac41368-f98b-5da5-ad66-b5621b8371db Associated Press article Alan Suderman

A pro-gun demonstrator holds a sign outside the Virginia Statehouse prior to a gun-rights rally in Richmond, Jan. 20, 2020. (Associated Press)

The House committee passed seven out of eight gun bills that Northam has said were his priority. But it did not take up an assault weapon ban, which some Democrats said they don’t think can pass this year. The Senate has already killed off its version of the bill and some moderate Democratic senators said they won’t support the legislation, which would outlaw the popular AR-15-style rifles.

GUN RIGHTS ACTIVIST COLION NOIR: VIRGINIA GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION IS ALL ABOUT POWER

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran said they are still working on the bill and there’s plenty of time left to get it passed.

“It’s an important issue for the governor,” Moran said. “We’ve seen in mass shootings, these are the weapons that are used.”

Virginia has become a key flash point in the national debate over gun violence.

Northam and Democratic lawmakers have credited their focus on gun control for helping them win full control of the General Assembly for the first time in more than two decades. Guns were a key topic of last year’s legislative elections — particularly after a mass shooting in Virginia Beach claimed a dozen lives — and gun-control groups heavily funded Democratic candidates.

On Monday, tens of thousands of gun-rights activists from around the country rallied peacefully at the Virginia Capitol to protest plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Some of the most vocal opposition has focused on plans to ban AR-15s and other assault weapons. Gun-rights advocates have accused Democrats of wanting to confiscate such rifles from current gun owners. Northam has said he has no interest in doing so.

An estimated 8 million AR-style guns have been sold since they were introduced to the public in the 1960s. The weapons are known as easy to use, easy to clean and easy to modify with a variety of scopes, stocks and rails.

Westlake Legal Group richmond-rally-3 Virginia House advances gun control measures -- just days after gun-rights rally fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/state-and-local/legislation fox-news/politics/state-and-local fnc/politics fnc cac41368-f98b-5da5-ad66-b5621b8371db Associated Press article Alan Suderman   Westlake Legal Group richmond-rally-3 Virginia House advances gun control measures -- just days after gun-rights rally fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/state-and-local/legislation fox-news/politics/state-and-local fnc/politics fnc cac41368-f98b-5da5-ad66-b5621b8371db Associated Press article Alan Suderman

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she’s unlikely to back Warren, Sanders or Biden: ‘They haven’t reached out’

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she plans to endorse a Democratic candidate for president before the Illinois primary March — but she’s unlikely to back Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden.

“They haven’t reached out,” Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times. “They’ve been to Chicago. They were very supportive of the Chicago Teachers Union strike but didn’t feel it was necessary to talk to the new black LGBTQ mayor.”

“[I’m] apparently not progressive enough for them,” she shrugged, referring to Warren and Sanders. “I’m certainly not endorsing somebody that has never bothered to reach out. So the other person that I haven’t heard from directly is Biden.”

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD ENDORSES WARREN, KLOBUCHAR FOR PRESIDENT

Biden has been to the city several times for fundraising events but hasn’t contacted the mayor, the Sun-Times reported.

Westlake Legal Group Lori-Lightfoot-2 Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she's unlikely to back Warren, Sanders or Biden: 'They haven't reached out' fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 36e3fef8-2e71-50e6-9d24-88dd26f2a409

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks in Chicago, May 20, 2019. (Associated Press)

Lightfoot has met with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., billionaire Michael Bloomberg, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick but didn’t indicate who she might endorse.

While Lightfoot said a candidate whose values sync with hers is important, her number one attribute is someone who can beat President Trump, “because the idea of four more years of …Trump is incredibly frightening to me.”

“We’re looking for somebody who is practical, who’s speaking to the values of the person, who’s worrying about whether they have a paycheck, whether they’re gonna be able to take care of their kids, may have savings, build a future, and somebody who is going to be smart and able and put together a good team to take on the challenges that Americans are facing,” she told the Sun-Times.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

She added that it’s important for the candidate to recognize that mayors “touch the lives of more Americans on a day-to-day basis than anybody else and that the direct delivery of services to our people is critically important every single day.”

Lightfoot has been in Washington this week, attending the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, but says she plans to be elsewhere — at Trump’s Senate impeachment trial — when the president addresses the group Friday.

Click here for more from the Chicago Sun-Times.

Westlake Legal Group Lori-Lightfoot-2 Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she's unlikely to back Warren, Sanders or Biden: 'They haven't reached out' fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 36e3fef8-2e71-50e6-9d24-88dd26f2a409   Westlake Legal Group Lori-Lightfoot-2 Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she's unlikely to back Warren, Sanders or Biden: 'They haven't reached out' fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 36e3fef8-2e71-50e6-9d24-88dd26f2a409

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Security measures heightened as thousands head to Richmond for large gun rights rally

Westlake Legal Group Gun-rally-4 Security measures heightened as thousands head to Richmond for large gun rights rally fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc f96ea63b-c5d2-5867-905f-2147fc15c187 Barnini Chakraborty article

RICHMOND, Va. — Stacks of chain-link fencing, white-covered tents and rows of metal detectors were in place Sunday night around Richmond’s Capitol ahead of Monday’s widely-publicized gun rights rally. 

Thousands of people from across the country are expected to attend the demonstration demanding state Democrats drop a push for comprehensive gun control in the commonwealth.

Richmond, once the capital of the Confederacy, has been on high alert for days following threats of violence, including claims of a militia storming the Capitol to protesters weaponizing drones.

The fear, though, wasn’t enough to keep Maryanne Martin or her husband William away.

“All of our freedoms as Americans are under attack. We have to stand up for our rights.”

— Maryanne Martin, protester 

“All of our freedoms as Americans are under attack,” Martin told Fox News. “We have to stand up for our rights.”

The Martins, who live in Baltimore, Md., drove 160 miles to Richmond Sunday morning and spent much of the afternoon walking around the barricades in place around the Capitol.

“We wanted to check it out today,” she said. “If you ask me, it’s a bit of overkill.”

There had been concerns that white supremacists and anti-fascist activists would face off in Richmond but one of those activists, Molly Conger, tweeted Sunday that “there is no counter-demonstration planned for the january 20 convergence of armed militias on virginia’s capitol. please, please encourage anyone you know who is thinking about counter protesting this event to stay away from downtown richmond on monday.” (sic)

Also seen Sunday roaming the Capitol grounds was Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist being InfoWars.

Members associated with the Light Foot Militia, some of whom were banned from Charlottesville, Va., following the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally, are expected to attend Monday’s rally.  Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist, has also indicated he might make an appearance.

Security concerns have also led to road closures as well as a ban on firearms in the Capitol and on its grounds.

“A ban on guns at a gun rally… I’ve heard it all now,” Martin said.

An event memorializing victims of gun violence, and another honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., were also canceled due to safety concerns. The Federal Aviation Administration has banned drones within a 2-mile radius of the Capitol and nearby students at VCU and the Medical College of Virginia have been encouraged to stay indoors.

Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave told Fox News it’s not the pro-gun groups that are stoking fear.

“It’s the Democrats,” he said. “It’s almost like they want something to happen. It sounds crazy but they keep doing it and you have to start wondering if that’s intentional.”

Cleave said membership in his organization has tripled in the past six weeks and that 10,000 people have signed up for free email alerts. He attributes the spike in popularity to Gov. Ralph Northam and Democrats in the state legislature. Van Cleave believes they have “declared war on gun owners” and is counting on gun-rights advocates to show up Monday to have their collective voices heard.

“It’s woken up gun owners across the state,” he said.

Jaylynne Sensy, a mother of three from Chesterfield County, told Fox News she’s planning on coming to the rally and bringing her three children with her.

“They’re trying to take our guns and that’s not going to happen,” she said. “We won’t stand for it. This wouldn’t happen if Republicans were still running things.”

In November, Democrats flipped the state Senate and the House of Delegates, giving them control of both the governor’s office and the legislature for the first time in a generation.

Following his re-election, Northam vowed to push through new gun-control measures, saying it was a top priority for Virginia Democrats. In doing so, he angered gun-rights advocates who believe he is trying to take away their rights.

That suspicion was fueled further on Friday when President Trump warned in a tweet that Virginia Democrats were threatening Americans’ right to bear arms.

“Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!” he tweeted.

Last week, three gun-control bills advanced in the General Assembly, setting the stage for a contentious showdown between gun-rights advocates and the Democratic lawmakers who campaigned on bringing changes to the state following last year’s mass shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal complex.

The bills that sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee would require background checks on all firearms purchases, allow law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from people deemed to be a risk to themselves or others, limit handgun purchases to one a month and let localities decide on whether to ban weapons from certain events. To become law, the bills would have to pass the full Senate and the House of Delegates before going to the governor for his signature.

In a symbolic sign of defiance, more than 100 municipalities in Virginia have designated themselves as a save haven or sanctuary for the Second Amendment. Lawmakers and authorities in those areas have said they will refuse to enforce new gun control laws the Virginia legislature passes.

WHITE SUPREMACIST CONVICTED OF MURDER IN CHARLOTTESVILLE ATTACK GETS LIFE IN PRISON

Monday’s rally comes about 2 1/2 years after a deadly incident in Charlottesville, Va. In that case, hundreds of white nationalists and their supporters gathered in Charlottesville – about 70 miles from Richmond – to demonstrate over plans to remove a Confederate statute. They were met by counter-protestors and violence quickly erupted. At one point, a vehicle drove into a crowd of counter-protestors killing one and injuring more than a dozen others.

Fearing a similar scenario, Northam declared a state of emergency ahead of Richmond’s rally.

“We have received credible intelligence from our enforcement agencies that there are groups with malicious plans for the rally that is planned for Monday,” Northam said during a press conference on Wednesday.

House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert called the upcoming rally “a time for people to peacefully assemble and petition their government.”

“It is not a place for hate or violence… any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence or civil unrest isn’t welcome here.”

— Todd Gilbert, House Republican leader 

“It is not a place for hate or violence,” he said in a statement. “Any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence or civil unrest isn’t welcome here.”

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On Thursday, authorities announced the arrest of three men linked to the Base, a white extremist, anti-government group that has been tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The men, who obtained weapons and discussed going to the Richmond rally, were charged with a number of federal crimes in Maryland.  A day later, law enforcement announced the arrest of at least four other men tied to the group.

Northam later said the majority of those planning to attend Monday’s rally had no interest in fanning the flames of hate but acknowledged there were still a few hellbent on it.

Westlake Legal Group Gun-rally-4 Security measures heightened as thousands head to Richmond for large gun rights rally fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc f96ea63b-c5d2-5867-905f-2147fc15c187 Barnini Chakraborty article   Westlake Legal Group Gun-rally-4 Security measures heightened as thousands head to Richmond for large gun rights rally fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc f96ea63b-c5d2-5867-905f-2147fc15c187 Barnini Chakraborty article

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Baltimore state’s attorney blasts police union’s ‘political rhetoric’ after video shows mob attacking officer

Baltimore’s state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, took aim at the city’s police union Saturday after union officials condemned a violent attack Friday night against a city police officer.

Mosby accused the police union of “fanning the very flames they then call on me to put out,” saying union officials responded to the violent attack with “inappropriate political rhetoric.”

A video posted on social media shows a Baltimore police sergeant wrestling on the ground late Friday with a suspect who allegedly spat in the sergeant’s face. The police officer is then repeatedly kicked by bystanders while trying to make the arrest.

BALTIMORE SEES 12 PEOPLE SHOT, 5 DEAD IN JUST 1 DAY OF SHOOTINGS

The officer was not seriously injured but Maryland’s governor and the city’s mayor and police commissioner all condemned the crowd’s behavior – while also praising the work of the police officer.

But Sgt. Mike Mancuso, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, said city officials shared in the blame for the attack, claiming it was “indicative of a broken city that is being led by people who have absolutely no real time crime plan or, it seems, even know how to formulate one.”

Baltimore enters 2020 after a year that saw the city set a per-capita record for homicides – and that saw City Hall disrupted by ex-mayor Catherine Pugh’s May resignation and her subsequent guilty plea on conspiracy and tax evasion charges in connection with a scam involving sales of her self-published children’s book.

“Crime in Baltimore is out of control,” Mancuso observed, “and until new leadership is elected and appointed, this lack of respect for the law and those who enforce it will continue and deepen.”

“Crime in Baltimore is out of control, and until new leadership is elected and appointed, this lack of respect for the law and those who enforce it will continue and deepen.”

— Baltimore police Sgt. Mike Mancuso, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3

Just days earlier, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, expressed sentiments similar to Mancuso’s – that Baltimore’s Democrat city leaders lacked an adequate plan for addressing crime.

“It really takes some leadership in the city to star getting tough,” Hogan said Wednesday at a Maryland National Guard event, Baltimore’s WBAL-TV reported. “There’s no crime plan, there’s no continuity and it’s just simply unacceptable that people are being shot and killed in the streets every single day, and people are fed up with it.”

“There’s no crime plan, there’s no continuity and it’s just simply unacceptable that people are being shot and killed in the streets every single day, and people are fed up with it.”

— Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

Westlake Legal Group AP19030655653125 Baltimore state’s attorney blasts police union’s ‘political rhetoric’ after video shows mob attacking officer fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/baltimore-crime-and-corruption fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 74b2e4cb-f432-58d6-b0cb-257ac2e42195

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks in Annapolis, Md., Jan. 30, 2019. (Associated Press)

Later Saturday, Mancuso doubled down after Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison addressed reporters at a Saturday news conference about the attack on the police sergeant.

“Clearly, the Commissioner did not fully appreciate the severity of the situation in which our brave Brother found himself, despite its blatancy,” Mancuso wrote in a statement. “He cannot treat our membership with disdain on a daily basis, then run to defend them when it suits his political agenda.”

To the mayor, Mancuso wrote: “Go have your walk on Pennsylvania Ave., spew your rhetoric about the failed crime plan, and tell everyone how tough you are on criminals. We all know the truth is that you are way in over your head! Attacking me is just another attempt to take the heat off your failed leadership.”

Earlier, Harrison had issued a statement saying he was “outraged” by the attack against the police sergeant and pledged that “Those involved will be identified and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Young wrote that the attack was “a reminder of the dangers our law enforcement officers face on the job.”

“While we’re all thankful that the sergeant was not seriously injured, the situation could have easily turned more dangerous,” the mayor added in a separate message. He added that one arrest had been made and police were “actively searching for others.”

Mosby, 39, who became the state’s attorney for Baltimore in 2015, wrote that she too was “disgusted by the blatant assault against the police officer,” but she criticized the police union for being “relentlessly divisive” and accused it of “hypocritical finger-pointing.”

Westlake Legal Group mosby Baltimore state’s attorney blasts police union’s ‘political rhetoric’ after video shows mob attacking officer fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/baltimore-crime-and-corruption fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 74b2e4cb-f432-58d6-b0cb-257ac2e42195

Maryland State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby speaks during a news conference Dec. 3, 2019, in Baltimore. (Associated Press)

“The same sense of outrage in this case should be expressed by the leaders of the police union when their officers are convicted of attempted murder, assault, and unlawful arrest against citizens,” Mosby wrote.

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In December, Mosby compiled a list of 305 city police officers, saying their credibility was in question, preventing them from being called as witnesses in criminal cases.

In 2016, Mosby drew sharp criticism for her work on the Freddie Gray case, in which six police officers were charged in connection with the death of Gray, a black detainee who died in the back of a police van in 2015.

Critics accused Mosby of rushing to announce charges against the officers, who were all ultimately cleared of wrongdoing.

Westlake Legal Group mosby Baltimore state’s attorney blasts police union’s ‘political rhetoric’ after video shows mob attacking officer fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/baltimore-crime-and-corruption fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 74b2e4cb-f432-58d6-b0cb-257ac2e42195   Westlake Legal Group mosby Baltimore state’s attorney blasts police union’s ‘political rhetoric’ after video shows mob attacking officer fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/baltimore-crime-and-corruption fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 74b2e4cb-f432-58d6-b0cb-257ac2e42195

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Virginia city official brings AR-15-style rifle to council meeting – triggering some colleagues

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122379763001_6122383499001-vs Virginia city official brings AR-15-style rifle to council meeting – triggering some colleagues fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio bdbc857b-0fb2-5d2d-a887-1add8e241e23 article

A city official in Virginia showed support for the Second Amendment earlier this week by bringing an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle to a city council meeting.

The move by Portsmouth Councilman Nathan Clark came as the council was to consider making the city a “Second Amendment Constitutional City” – placing it in symbolic opposition to gun-control efforts underway in the newly Democrat-controlled state Assembly.

The proposal, debated before a capacity audience in the council chambers, passed 4-3, according to the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk.

TRUMP SAYS SECOND AMENDMENT IS ‘UNDER VERY SERIOUS ATTACK’ IN VIRGINIA AHEAD OF GUN-RIGHTS RALLY

Clark’s gesture also came as the state prepares for a controversial gun-rights rally scheduled for Monday in Richmond, the state capital.

But he apparently angered at least two members of the council in Portsmouth, an Atlantic coast city about 97 miles from Richmond.

The council critics said Clark should have told them in advance that he planned to bring the weapon – and one of them asked Clark to apologize for not doing so.

“It was a disgrace, disheartening and an embarrassment,” Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke wrote to the council Thursday, according to the newspaper. “Most of us were blindsided by the display.” Lucas-Burke was among three council members who voted against the “Constitutional City” designation. The others were Councilman Shannon Glover and Mayor John Rowe. Glover had complained of being blindsided by Clark’s gesture, the report said.

Another critic was Fred Guttenberg, father of one of the victims of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting in February 2018, who accused Clark of “open intimidation” and called on him to resign.

Clark told Norfolk’s WTKR-TV that he was looking to make a point about gun rights.

“I had a lot of people come and talk to me after it,” Clark told the station. “No one appeared intimidated. There [were] police officers that were there. They were aware that I had it.”

Others on the council were supportive of Clark’s stand.

“I do not believe that Council(man) Clark needs to apologize for exercising his right as a law enforcement officer to carry his weapon to a public meeting,” Councilman Bill Moody wrote, according to the Virginian-Pilot. “I can appreciate liberals’ knee jerk reactions but if they have a problem with the law they should use the system they now control to change it.”

Clark himself did not respond to the newspaper’s request for a comment. But the paper reported that Clark had issued a press release announcing his plan to bring the weapon to the meeting.

Meanwhile, Virginia’s gun owners received some support from President Trump on Friday. The president claimed in a Twitter message that the Second Amendment was “under very serious attack” in the commonwealth.

“That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats,” Trump wrote, “they will take your guns away.”

Earlier this week, Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, declared a state of emergency and said he was temporarily banning individuals from carrying firearms and other weapons on Capitol grounds ahead of the rally for fear of a repeat of the violence law enforcement was ill-prepared to deal with at another rally in Charlottesville more than two years ago.

Pro-gun activists have challenged that order.

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“The only anti-gun ppl you’ll see in Virginia on the 20th will be the government and they’ll have guns,” one Twitter user observed. “Think about that for a second.”

But a Richmond Circuit Court judge upheld Northam’s order, denying a lawsuit brought forth by the Virginia Citizens Defense League as well as Gunowners of America seeking an injunction against the Democratic governor’s ban.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this story.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122379763001_6122383499001-vs Virginia city official brings AR-15-style rifle to council meeting – triggering some colleagues fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio bdbc857b-0fb2-5d2d-a887-1add8e241e23 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122379763001_6122383499001-vs Virginia city official brings AR-15-style rifle to council meeting – triggering some colleagues fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio bdbc857b-0fb2-5d2d-a887-1add8e241e23 article

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Former Florida mayor gets prison after buying BMW, beach condo with $650G in United Way funds

Westlake Legal Group Judge-Gavel-Money-iStock Former Florida mayor gets prison after buying BMW, beach condo with $650G in United Way funds fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 441b2f79-d766-5de5-83a9-9e2c41fcc7c8

A former Florida mayor was reportedly sentenced to 51 months in prison and required to pay full restitution Friday for embezzling more than $650,000 from United Way — after a Navy veteran’s testimony played a key role in his conviction.

Guy Thompson, who served as mayor of Milton in northwestern Florida from 1994 to 2014, stole a total of $652,000.61 through a check-fraud scheme while he served as executive director of the United Way in Santa Rosa County, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

Thompson, 66, used the money for purchases that included a BMW automobile and a beachfront condominium, the newspaper reported.

He pleaded guilty last May to 20 counts of wire fraud and three counts of tax evasion.

CHRIS COLLINS, FORMER GOP REP, SENTENCED TO 26 MONTHS IN PRISON OVER SECURITIES FRAUD

The FBI began investigating in October 2018, the same month Thompson was removed from his position at United Way as allegations of fraud surfaced. The organization started an internal audit at the same time.

Ronald Benson, a 20-year-old Navy veteran hired to help manage funds at United Way, testified in Thompson’s trial that he started noticing “anomalies” in checks and deposit slips.

“I started to discover where large amounts of money were being redirected,” Benson said in court, according to the News Journal. “Not misdirected, redirected.”

He also said Thompson smeared his credibility to hide his own crimes, adding even though he resigned from the position, his association with the former mayor has made it impossible to get a job.

Thompson started stealing the money while he was still mayor in 2011, prosecutors found, and he continued the scheme for seven years until his ouster in 2018.

Over the course of those seven years, federal prosecutors said, Thompson made “hundreds of fraudulent deposits” meant for United Way into his personal account.

He also evaded about $159,362 by not reporting his fraudulent earnings on his taxes.

Thompson was well-known and respected in the community – the Milton Community Center was even renamed for him in 2015. His name was later removed.

He also served on many boards and was involved in other charities during his career.

Thompson’s attorney, Ryan Cardoso, told the News Journal earlier this year that Thompson “is deeply remorseful that his conduct has hurt the United Way of Santa Rosa County, as well as the organizations and the people it serves.”

“I would say, overall, people’s confidence in elected officials took a big nosedive, and it’ll probably never recover,” Milton resident Kim Macarthy said about Thompson’s crimes. “It was important for me to see this. I don’t take pleasure in this, but it’s important for closure and moving forward.”

Thompson has been ordered to pay full restitution for the $650,000 and federal authorities have already seized upwards of $220,000 from his bank accounts – mostly from the beach condo he sold soon after the FBI investigation started.

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Thompson could have faced life in prison as each count carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, according to the News Journal.

Westlake Legal Group Judge-Gavel-Money-iStock Former Florida mayor gets prison after buying BMW, beach condo with $650G in United Way funds fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 441b2f79-d766-5de5-83a9-9e2c41fcc7c8   Westlake Legal Group Judge-Gavel-Money-iStock Former Florida mayor gets prison after buying BMW, beach condo with $650G in United Way funds fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 441b2f79-d766-5de5-83a9-9e2c41fcc7c8

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