New charges added against former Cincinnati council member accused of hiding fugitive
Prosecutors say Laketa Cole potentially stole thousands from the Department of Job and Family Services.
CINCINNATI (FOX19/ENQUIRER) - A former Cincinnati City Council member and the fugitive she is accused of having hidden from police last year are both now charged with welfare fraud.
A Hamilton County grand jury issued indictments against Yumorria Laketa Cole and William Cromwell on Wednesday. They are charged with three counts each of theft and two counts each of tampering with records.
The indictments accuse the pair of stealing between $1,000 and $7,500 in Medicaid benefits, nutritional services benefits and child care assistance. The alleged crimes occurred between 2017-2019.
Cole, 47, was arrested on obstruction of justice charges in February after allegedly hiding Cromwell, also 47, who was wanted in a fatal traffic crash case. She is out on bond.
Cole was a supervisor in the Cincinnati Parks Department at the time of her arrest.
According to our media partners at the Enquirer, court records say Cole provided William Cromwell a place to stay and hide from law enforcement while there were active warrants out for his arrest. Cromwell was wanted for felony non-support of a child and 10 charges in Indiana including “causing death when operating a vehicle while intoxicated,” documents say.
Cromwell’s case was filed in September of 2020.
Cole also provided Cromwell with a cellphone, according to the documents. She told law enforcement Cromwell was not inside her Bond Hill home, where he was found at the time of his arrest.
Cromwell was also arrested in February.
Cole rose to prominence after starting as legislative assistant to former mayor and then council member Dwight Tillery and as chief of staff for then council member Paul M. Booth.
She ran for council in 2001 as an Independent, but lost, coming in 10th in the race for nine seats.
When a seat came open in April of 2003, Cole was appointed. She won re-election four times after that.
She resigned in 2010 to take a job at the Public Utilities Corporation of Ohio. Then-council member Cecil Thomas appointed her replacement, Wendell Young.
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