Midday News Brief
Written by Dan Fischer on February 3, 2021
The case against Batavia Funeral Director Michael Tomaszewski has been put off until March.
The 48 year old Tomaszewski is accused of bilking local families out of nearly a half-million dollars.
Authorities say Tomaszewski accepted money for prepayment of funeral services and failed to place that money in trust, as required by law. In other cases he was accused of receiving payment for services that were never performed.
Tomaszewski had been scheduled to appear in County Court yesterday but instead the case was adjourned until next month.
The delay is fueling speculation that a plea deal is in the works.
A Batavia man has been arrested on a charge of 1st Degree Arson.
44 year old Charles Rodriquez was just arrested for causing a fire on Osterhout Avenue last November.
Police say Rodriquez hurled Molotov at the front window on a home causing the window to break and start a fire. No one was injured, although authorities said there was a person inside the home and Rodriquez knew it.
He is being held in county jail without bail.
The mother of a nine-year-old girl who was pepper-sprayed by Rochester police officers is planning to file a lawsuit against the city.
Elba Pope says last Friday’s incident in downtown Rochester traumatized her daughter, and that the girl only ran off because she was upset about an argument involving Pope’s ex-boyfriend. The girl was later handcuffed and pepper-sprayed in the back of a police car.
One of the officers involved is suspended while two others have been placed on leave.
Governor Cuomo says more New Yorkers have now been made eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Local governments are allowed to offer shots to restaurant workers, taxi drivers and to facilities that serve people with developmental disabilities. It was also revealed yesterday the federal government will be increasing its COVID-19 vaccine supply to states. Plans are also in the works to provide vaccines directly to pharmacies.
The New York State Department of Labor has announced that it has identified over 425,000 fraudulent unemployment benefit claims during the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing fraudsters from stealing more than $5.5 billion in benefits. The Department has referred hundreds of thousands of fraud cases to federal prosecutors, and continues to work with law enforcement partners on the federal, state, and local level to hold fraudsters accountable.