Rochester Mayor Indicted on Felony Campaign Finance Charges

Lovely Warren
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (D) on Friday was indicted via grand jury for two felony campaign finance charges, announced Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley.

WROC reports:

The grand jury’s indictment follows a yearslong investigation into the mayor’s 2017 re-election campaign. The district attorney said the mayor is facing two class E felonies, including scheme to defraud in the first degree, and violation of election law 14-126(6). […] She said a maximum sentence would be one to four years in state prison, but there could also be probation, split sentences, or restitution in this case. […]

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.

New York State has strict rules forbidding PACs and committees from coordinating.

“This is an indictment, not a conviction — these are simply allegations of violations of the law,” Doorley told reporters. “This could be a long process and we anticipate that there could be challenges along the way so I don’t think this will be anything resolved quickly.”

“This is not political,” she added. “I am the chief law enforcement official in Monroe County. I was presented the facts, we handled it as we would any other case, and I am simply doing my job.”

Warren has not been arrested, though she will be will be processed, said Doorley.

“Lovely Warren is still the mayor of the City of Rochester — mayoral business needs to continue and I don’t want to dispute that,” she said.

“We all want our elections to be run fair and these are laws on the books to allow and ensure that people who are entering political office follow the rules so that there is equal access to everyone,” she added. “There are certain rules about coordinating campaign funds. These are important. We all want fair campaigns. This is allegedly a scheme to defraud.”


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