Rochester, New York Mayor Lovely Warren was indicted today on two felony counts of campaign fraud. The charges were announced by Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley. Warren is a member of Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
The first charge is for first-degree scheme to defraud; the second is an election law offense for illegally coordinating activities and expenditures.
The grand jury indictment is connected to Warren’s 2017 mayoral re-election campaign. Warren has adamantly refused any wrongdoing in the matter.
Warren and two campaign associates also indicted Friday will be arraigned at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, in front of Cayuga County Judge Thomas Leone in Monroe County.
If convicted of the felony charges, Warren would be removed from office under state law. The maximum sentence would be 16 months to four years in prison, but Warren would be unlikely to be incarcerated. Her pension could be forfeited, however, if the matter is determined to be a crime related to public office, and she also could lose her law license.
Albert Jones, her campaign treasurer, and Rosalind Brooks-Harris, treasurer of her PAC and the city’s finance director, were also indicted.
Warren is claiming any transfers between her campaign and her political action committee that broke the law were “unintentional errors”. However, according to former lobbyist Robert Scott Gaddy, he and a campaign finance lawyer alerted her to the illegality issue and she “intentionally disregarded the advice.”
I’ve lost count of the number of mayors who belong to Bloomberg’s group that have been indicted. I’m sure the tally is high enough to make even the most jaded politician blush.
Below is DA Doorley’s press conference announcing the charges: