Butte County Sheriffs Office(TULSA, Okla.) — An Oklahoma woman is accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars in insurance money from an elderly Camp Fire survivor whose home was destroyed in the deadly wildfire, officials said.Brenda Rose Asbury, 29, of Tulsa, embezzled $63,100 from a 75-year-old person who was meant to collect the money as part of an insurance settlement after losing a residence in the 2018 fire, according to a press release from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday.Asbury was arrested and charged with elder abuse, embezzlement and grand theft, according to the sheriff’s office.The Camp Fire is the most destructive and deadly wildfire in California history, destroying thousands of homes and structures and claiming the lives of 85 people. The blaze ignited in Butte County and burned 153,336 acres for 18 days.Authorities obtained an arrest warrant for Asbury in September of this year.They discovered she lived in Tulsa and coordinated with Oklahoma law enforcement to try and track her down, according to the sheriff’s office.An attorney retained by Asbury later spoke with detectives, who told the attorney that Asbury needed to contact law enforcement immediately.She showed up to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office on Monday and told them she had been driving the past three days from Oklahoma, the sheriff’s office said.Asbury was subsequently placed under arrest.It was not immediately clear how Asbury came across the money, or if she had a relationship with the victim. Calls to the sheriff’s office were not returned.Asbury did not respond to ABC News for comment. An attorney for her could not be reached.She is expected to be arraigned on Thursday in Butte County Superior Court.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Assembly member Pamela Hunter and Sen. Julia Salazar (Facebook, Getty)Lawmakers and tenant advocates are gearing up for their next fight to further limit evictions throughout New York state.Compassionate New York, a coalition of tenant, health and criminal justice advocates, along with several state legislators, are pushing for the passage of good cause eviction, a policy that would limit rent increases and guarantee lease renewals for tenants.Under the proposed bill, which has undergone some tweaks since it was first introduced in 2019, tenants who don’t pay rent can’t be evicted if the nonpayment results from an “unreasonable” increase in rent. The measure defines “unreasonable” as any increase exceeding 3 percent of the annual rent, or 150 percent of the region’s Consumer Price Index, as set by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, whichever is higher.ADVERTISEMENTThe coalition estimates that the state could save as much as $1.6 billion each year, a figure that includes the cost of providing emergency shelter, medical care and other services to rental households facing eviction in the state. The group says 40,000 households are currently at risk, based on a “Cost of Eviction Calculator” tool created by the University of Arizona.It’s unclear how many evictions the bill would ultimately prevent per year. Eviction protections for tenants who filed financial hardship declaration forms expire May 1, with no word yet on whether those will be extended. Lawmakers approved a process for releasing $2.4 billion in rent relief as part of the state’s budget, which included some eviction protections for recipients of the aid. But the coalition believes more needs to be done to protect renters.“The most vulnerable New Yorkers live in unregulated housing, and we need some protections from rent hikes and retaliation to get a stable recovery,” said Cea Weaver, who leads Housing Justice for All, which is part of the coalition. “This is how you wind down a moratorium. We can’t face an eviction cliff.”The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Julia Salazar and Assembly member Pamela Hunter, outlines limited circumstances under which a landlord can deny a lease renewal or pursue eviction. For example, owners of small buildings with an “immediate and compelling necessity” can also take back an apartment to occupy as their primary residence.Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program, said the bill’s name is “misleading.”“It is fantasy to suggest that Good Cause Eviction would save New York any money,” he said in a statement. “If enacted it would put in place the most stringent rent control system in the country. History has repeatedly shown that strict rent controls lead to less housing, higher rents, and more homelessness.”Contact Kathryn Brenzel Message* Full Name* Email Address*