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Ex-police chief Singletary sues City of Rochester, mayor over firing

A headshot of ex-Rochester Police Chief La'Ron Singletary
Gino Fanelli

Former Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary is suing Mayor Lovely Warren and the City of Rochester over his firing last year.

Singletary is seeking at least $1.5 million in damages for his termination and defamation of character. He is also seeking punitive damages. When asked, Singletary’s lawyers would not comment further.

In a statement, the city said Singletary "failed in his duties as chief and was rightfully terminated."

Singletary was fired last September, shortly after the death of Daniel Prude in police custody became public and sparked mass protests. Prude's death in March 2020 was largely kept quiet for nearly six months, until his family spoke to the media. Protesters and one of the investigations alleged a cover-up.

In his complaint, Singletary alleges that Warren, and those acting on her behalf in city government, made false statements about his work and omitted information intentionally. He said he refused to lie for Warren and that created a hostile work environment that made it difficult to run the police department.

Before coming to WXXI News, James spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for Rochester City Newspaper. While at City, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.