Sources: Former Mayor and Murder Suspect Caught Kissing Inside Prison
Erie News Now is breaking new and surprising details involving a former Erie mayor and a murder suspect.
An announcement that former Erie Mayor Rick Filippi was under investigation for improper conduct with an Erie county prison inmate was revealed late last week.
Erie News Now has learned exclusively the identity of the inmate.
It’s all new information about the alleged "improper behavior" involving ex-Erie Mayor Rick Filippi, 52, and Erie county prison inmate, Rebecca Frick, 24.
As we first reported last week, Erie county officials have restricted Filippi's contact with inmates, following an incident last week at the prison involving an inmate.
Sources from inside the prison, and closely connected to the case, confirm that inmate is Rebecca Frick, the same woman who was jailed last month and charged with homicide.
Police say she intentionally slammed her vehicle into Michelle Muir, 37, as the victim was walking her dog with her husband. The impact killed Muir, it all apparently stemming from an argument at a nearby gas station.
Through prison visitor logs Erie News Now obtained, we have confirmed Filippi was at the prison on August 27th and August 29th. There is surveillance video of the alleged incident, which Erie News Now did file a right to know request for the county to release the video. That request was denied, because Erie County Solicitor Rich Perhacs said it would reveal too much information about camera placement in the prison.
Those same sources tell Erie News Now the video captured Frick and Filippi kissing in a room at the prison, where attorneys can speak to their clients face to face.
We also uncovered that Frick was hand-delivered a landlord-tenant complaint, ending her lease at her apartment at 3rd and French streets. Rick Filippi's name was on that civil complaint, his brother Ron Filippi is the owner and landlord of the building.
It is not clear if Filippi was visiting Frick to offer legal advice, to just serve those apparent eviction papers, or a personal visit, those details were redacted from the visitation logs.
The exact connection between Frick and Filippi also isn't clear, but what we do know based on information from our informed sources is that the surveillance video captured the former mayor and the murder suspect kissing inside the prison during a meeting.
We went to Filippi's office in Erie for comment and was told he was out of town, Erie News Now reached out to him on his cellphone, but our calls to Filippi for comment were not returned.
Rick Filippi has been in private legal practice since his term as mayor from 2002 to 2006 ended. While in office he was acquitted of all charges stemming from land speculation around a possible development site for Erie county's casino.
It's unknown what, if any, penalties Filippi could face if the allegations against him are proved to be true.