Judge dismisses two of three charges against Saratoga BLM leader

Saratoga Black Lives Matter leader Lexis Figuereo, flanked by his attorney Mark Mishler, speaks from the front steps of Saratoga Springs City Hall, Thursday.
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Saratoga Black Lives Matter leader Lexis Figuereo, flanked by his attorney Mark Mishler, speaks from the front steps of Saratoga Springs City Hall, Thursday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS A judge ruled on Friday to dismiss two of the three charges against Lexis Figuereo, the leader of Saratoga Black Lives Matter.

Hon. Francine R. Vero tossed out the two obstruction of governmental administration charges that stemmed from Figuereo’s actions at July 2021 Saratoga Springs City Council meetings. Figuereo still faces a count of disorderly conduct resulting from a July 14, 2021 protest during which traffic was blocked on Broadway for several minutes. 

“It’s a great victory. She agreed with us that the obstruction charges are legally improper. It’s a great victory in that sense for my client,” said Mark Mishler, Figuereo’s attorney. “I interpret it as a message to the City of Saratoga Springs that they need to do better in regard to the openness of their process at their City Council meetings.”

Friday’s ruling follows a Thursday court appearance during which the judge said she needed more time to consider the charges. On Thursday, Figuereo rejected a deal offered by the district attorney’s office that would have Figuereo plead guilty to a single count of disorderly conduct with a fine to be determined by the judge, Assistant District Attorney Joseph Frandino said during the court appearance.

A discovery hearing is slated for April 26 at 1:30 p.m.

Figuereo said Friday’s ruling was a step in the right direction.

“I’m feeling very good, very optimistic,” Figuereo said. “We’ve been saying this the whole time that this is a witch hunt and is purposely trying to solely point me out – and the BLM movement – to scare others to not be able to protest or speak their minds anymore.”

Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite

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