Police: New Orleans mayoral candidate facing lewd conduct charge

Credit: studioEAST

Credit: studioEAST

A New Orleans mayoral candidate was arrested on a charge of lewd conduct after police said he was found with his pants pulled down in the back of an Uber in Santa Monica, Calif., Nola.com reported.

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Frank Scurlock was picked up on a charge of public masturbation in February, police said. Terry White, a deputy city attorney in Santa Monica, confirmed Friday that Scurlock faces a charge of lewd conduct, which includes a maximum penalty of a year in jail and the possibility of registering as a sex offender, Nola.com reported.

Scurlock is due in court on Oct. 16, two days after the mayoral primary, White said.

White confirmed the details in a story first reported in The Advocate of Baton Rouge. The Advocate also reached Scurlock, who acknowledged someone in California had made an allegation against him, but said he didn't know much more about the case, nor the charge he faces.

Scurlock did not immediately return a message left with a woman who answered his cellphone.

Scurlock was picked up from a West Hollywood hotel by an Uber driver and was being driven through Santa Monica when the driver heard noises coming the backseat, White said. The woman stopped the car and opened the passenger car door and discovered Scurlock with his penis exposed and masturbating, White said.

The driver then went to a gas station to call police, and Scurlock fled the scene, White said. After police arrived, the driver gave them a description of Scurlock and told them she had picked him from a hotel, Nola.com reported.

"They went back to the hotel and were able to get a name," White said. "Based on the name, they got a picture and put it in a photo lineup, and the driver identified him."

The incident in California came three months before Scurlock's arrest in New Orleans. He approached a policeman near a Confederate monument removal protest and was charged with obstructing a public passage. The charge was later changed to assault, but a judge dismissed the case for lack of evidence, Nola.com reported.