Democrat Mayor of Rochester New York Pleads Guilty To Campaign Finance Crime

Democrat mayor of Rochester, New York, Lovely Warren, will resign from office before the conclusion of her term as part of an agreement to resolve allegations that she broke campaign finance laws during her 2017 reelection campaign. The plea deal will allow Warren to avoid trial on several charges and escape possible incarceration.

According to WHEC 10 NBC News, Warren pleaded guilty to an election law violation and received a misdemeanor penalty, acknowledging that she “knowingly and willfully contributed, accepted campaign donations in an amount more than the maximum amount specified.”

Warren was accused of operating a fraud conspiracy with two of her former campaign finance employees, Albert Jones, and Rosalind Brooks-Harris. Prosecutors claim they urged people who had given the maximum amount to the mayor’s campaign to donate to a different Political Action Committee, which was subsequently sent to the mayor’s campaign.

Warren will have to leave her post one month early, on December 1, under the terms of the agreement. If she were found guilty at trial, she would face 15 months to 3 years in prison. The plea agreement also resolves gun and child endangerment charges she faced in May after a police raid on her house in connection with her husband’s suspected drug offenses.

News 10 reporter Berkeley Brean stated on Twitter, “Here is the negotiated plea: plead guilty to an election law violation, and in turn, Mayor Lovely Warren resigns effective December 1, 2021. The deal also satisfies the gun and child endangerment charges against the mayor.”

Brean followed up with another tweet saying, “Mayor Lovely Warren pleads guilty to an election law misdemeanor, and in exchange, she agrees to resign as mayor no later than December 1, 2021. The plea also satisfies the gun and endangerment charge stemming from the raid on the mayor’s home in May.”

Warren was defeated in a landslide by fellow Democrat Malik Evans in the June primary election. She was charged with two felony campaign finance charges before the primary, which she was able to plead down in the deal. Additionally, Warren’s home was raided this summer in conjunction with a seven-month-long narcotics probe. Timothy Granison, Warren’s husband, was arrested and charged with two drug counts and one firearms charge, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Radio host Bob Lonsberry noted that in the investigation of Warren’s husband, “the troopers didn’t coordinate any aspect of their investigation of the mayor’s husband with the Rochester police department. That’s operational security. It means they didn’t trust the chief not to tell the mayor.”

While Warren’s plea deal addresses the weapons and child endangerment charges she faced, Granison is still facing the charges. After Mayor Warren resigns, Deputy Mayor James Smith will take over as mayor. Malik Evans, a current City Councilman and winner of the Democratic Primary Election for Mayor, is expected to be Rochester’s next mayor. On January 1, 2022, when the next term begins.

 

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