Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren has admitted she violated campaign finance law and agreed to resign as part of a plea agreement. She will leave office by Dec. 1.
Warren said on Facebook: “Leaving the past behind and looking forward to a brighter future. Thank you, Rochester. We’ve accomplished a lot together, but in the end, I thank God that I’m able to choose family over everything.”
Jennifer Lewke, a reporter at WHEC, said Warren admitted in court to “knowingly and willingly accepting excess campaign funds in violation of election law.” She was asked how she wanted to plea and responded, “Guilty, your honor.”
Berkeley Brean, a reporter at WHEC said: “Mayor Lovely Warren pleads guilty to an election law misdemeanor and in exchange she agrees to resign as mayor no later than Dec 1 2021.
“The plea also satisfies the gun and endangerment charge stemming from the raid on the mayor’s home in May.
From The New York Post:
Warren, Jones and Brooks-Harris had faced up to four years in state prison if convicted on the felony charge, according to WHAM.
But a judge sentenced all three to a year-long conditional discharge, meaning they could face additional penalties if they commit additional crimes during that period, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Monroe County prosecutors did not recommend the conditional discharge, leaving the sentencing decision to Judge Thomas Leone.
Attorneys for Warren had previously denied evading campaign finance rules, blaming the errors on poor bookkeeping and inadvertent errors.
Prosecutors didn’t specify the scope of the alleged fraud other than to say it was in the “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” The PAC had raised about $350,000, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Warren’s plea deal Monday also resolved separate gun and child endangerment charges. In July, a grand jury indicted her and her estranged husband, Timothy Granison, with criminal possession of a firearm and endangering the welfare of a child and failure to lock or secure firearms in a dwelling, the newspaper reported.
The allegations were connected to a raid of their home in May that police said led to the seizure of 2 kilos of cocaine and a rifle and a pistol at the home, where their 10-year-old daughter was found alone.
Both Warren and Granison had pleaded not guilty to the gun and child endangerment charges, while she was not implicated in the alleged drug-trafficking network linked to her estranged husband.
Mayor Warren is now at the podium. She is admitting to “knowingly and willingly accepting excess campaign funds in violation of election law” – when asked how does she plead, she says “guilty, your honor” @news10nbc— Jennifer Lewke (@WHEC_JLewke) October 4, 2021
Breaking Story in 60— Berkeley Brean (@whec_bbrean) October 4, 2021
Mayor Lovely Warren pleads guilty to an election law misdemeanor and in exchange she agrees to resign as mayor no later than Dec 1 2021. The plea also satisfies the gun and endangerment charge stemming from the raid on the mayor’s home in May. @news10nbc pic.twitter.com/5KenfFrUMd