Rochester Democratic Mayor Lovely Warren and Two Others Indicted by Grand Jury, Charged with Scheme to Defraud
Lovely Warren is the Mayor of Rochester, New York and she has been indicted and charged by a grand jury for campaign violations. Monroe Country District Attorney Sandra Doorley has been leading the years long investigation into Warren and has charged her with two felonies related to her 2017 re-election campaign.
She faces one felony charge of scheme to defraud in the first degree and a second felony charge over a potential violation of a New York election law that deals with campaign finances and filings. Both charges are Class E felonies and each could result in up to four years in prison. But the DA says the punishment might not be as severe, she has to be convicted first. Other possible punishments include probation, restitution, or a form of split sentencing.
Investigation officials say hundreds of thousands of dollars raised from the mayor’s first term from November 2013 to November 2017 are connected to the charges. WROC reported, “According to 2017 expenditures of Warren’s political action committee, Warren for a Stronger Rochester PAC, $30,000 was transferred from the PAC to her committee, Friends of Lovely Warren.”
The campaign is claiming that the transfer was due to a clerical issue or a mistake with PayPal, but Doorley says she doesn’t think this was a mistake. She also said, “There are certain rules about coordinating campaign funds. These are important. We all want fair campaigns. This is allegedly a scheme to defraud.”
Rochester Finance Director Rosiland Brooks-Harris and Albert Jones Jr. are also being invetigated and face identical charges. Their arraignment is scheduled for Monday in the Cayuga Country Court with Judge Jones Jr. Warren’s attorney, Joe Damelio, held a press conference on Friday where he insisted that the mayor is innocent and that she didn’t know she violated the law. He said that clerical mistakes often happen and that there must be proof of intent as well as evidence for the charges to stick.
Sources: Rochester First, Conservative Brief; Photo-New York Post