Top local Democrat Jill Harvey accused of shoplifting in Syracuse

Industry Hair Salon in Armory Square

The Onondaga County District Attorneyâ??s Office has no comment but confirms that charges have been placed against Jill Harvey, the state Director of Rural Development for the USDA.

Barry Weiss, spokesperson for

the District Attorney

, says Harvey was given an appearance ticket and will be arraigned April 4th. According to Syracuse Police, Jill Harvey is charged with misdeamor petit larceny.

The charge stems from an alleged shoplifting incident at Industry Hair Salon in Armory Square on March 21st.

Harvey was allegedly caught on a surveillance video taking several bottles of hair products as well as a bracelet and placing them in a bag. She was confronted by Industry manager, Christopher Christman, who called police the next day .

Christman told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that when he confronted Harvey, she at first denied she was stealing, but tried to take back the products she had allegedly taken. Christman says since he pressed charges, he's been contacted by the Onondaga County District Attorney's office. He says he's also been contacted by the White House and has been told Federal officials may subpoena the surveillance video.

Harvey is State Director of the USDA Rural Development

Office, located at the Galleries, which annually invests over $100 million in rural NY. Our call to the USDA's office in Washington has not yet been returned. Harvey was appointed to the post by President Obama in 2009.

Prior to that, Harvey was regional director for

Senator Charles Schumer

. She also served 9 years for Assemblyman Pete Grannis and worked as Assemblyman Mike Bragmanâ??s senior legislative assistant.

Harvey is considered an influential member of the Democratic Party.

A spokesperson for the USDA Rural Development Office said that Harvey was not working today.

Harvey could not be reached for comment. Her attorney, Joe Callahan said, "This is a misunderstanding that should have been resolved on the spot...I hope this can be resolved without further damage to this good woman's reputation and career."