Rochester, N.Y., Mayor Lovely Warren, was indicted Friday on two felony campaign finance charges, The Hill reports.
The charges stem from Warren’s reelection campaign three years ago, according to the indictment, which also charges two associates, The New York Times reported.
The indictment accuses Warren, a Democrat, of “knowingly and willfully” attempting to evade contribution limits while engaging in “a systemic and ongoing course of conduct with the intent to defraud more than one person.”
Breaking 911 reports that a Monroe County Grand Jury indictment was unsealed, charging Lovely A. Warren, Albert Jones Jr. and Rosiland Brooks Harris with Scheme to Defraud in the 1st Degree and Violation of Election Law 14-126(6), both are Class E Felonies.
This indictment resulted after a series of complaints were made to the New York State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement between April 20, 2017 and November 6, 2017 regarding campaign finance activities of the Friends of Lovely Warren and Warren for a Strong Rochester PAC (Political Action Committee). The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office began meeting with the State Board of Elections in March 2018. Thereafter, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley met with the State Board of Elections on August 14, 2018. It was determined that the jurisdiction would be taken over by the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office with the assistance of the New York State Board of Elections.
On February 25, 2019, employees of the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office met with the State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement to provide materials pursuant to a sharing order that resulted from the investigation. At this point, the investigation was referred to the State Board of Elections for analysis and recommendation. There was continued communication between the State Board of Elections and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office between February 25, 2019 and March 6, 2020.
On March 6, 2020, the State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement presented their findings in a report to the Monroe County District Attorney. That report outlined violations of the penal law and election law by Lovely A. Warren, Albert Jones Jr. and Rosiland Brooks Harris in connection with campaign finance activities. These findings were forwarded to the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office for further investigation and prosecution if appropriate. From there, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office continued its investigation.
Resultant of the recommendations, all three defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, October 5, 2020 at 4:00PM in front of Cayuga County Judge Thomas G. Leone in Monroe County.
She suspended seven police officers with pay amid an ongoing investigation and the top leadership of the Rochester Police Department resigned last month. She eventually fired the city’s police chief, FOX News reports.
Critics accused city and police officials of covering up the circumstances of Prude’s death, which weren’t fully understood until videos of the police encounter were released in September, sparking protests and calls for reforms. A medical examiner has ruled Prude’s death a homicide.
Warren has denied any wrongdoing and previously called the investigation a “political witch hunt.” If convicted, she would be removed from office.
Warren is the first female and second African American mayor of Rochester, home to around 200,000 people in Western New York.
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