City contractor out of job after writing letter calling for release of arson suspect, officials say

City officials have confirmed that a Philadelphia Health Department contractor wrote a letter in support of a woman charged with setting two police cars on fire while claiming to be an authorized representative of the department.

The city says they have now terminated the contractor, who has not been identified, claiming they "did not have authorization to represent the Department in this manner."

Sources tell FOX 29's Jeff Cole the contractor wrote a letter on health department letterhead calling for Lore-Elizabeth Blumenthal's release from jail after she was ordered to be held without bail.

Sources say the letter included concerns about COVID-19. 

Blumenthal is accused of torching a police cruiser and a sport utility vehicle after protests turned violent outside City Hall on May 30.

Investigators say video evidence shows Blumenthal take a piece of wood from an engulfed police cruiser and place it into an idle SUV, causing the vehicle to catch fire. As a result, both cars were destroyed. She has been charged with two counts of arson.

The FBI used photos and video from the incident to identify Blumenthal via numerous social media accounts.

The city says the contents of the contractor's letter "do not represent the position of the Health Department or the City of Philadelphia."



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