Rochester mayor Lovely Warren indicted on felony campaign finance charges

The controversial mayor of Rochester, NY, has been indicted on charges of felony campaign finance violations related to her re-election campaign in 2017, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said Friday.

According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the “first charge is for first-degree scheme to defraud; the second is an election law offense for illegally coordinating activities and expenditures.”

The charges

There are campaign finance violations that seem to happen by accident and then there are those that appear to be a purposeful effort to manipulate the rules.

What Rochester’s Democrat mayor Lovely Warren is being accused of seems to be the latter.

According to the complaint, Warren was running a campaign account as well as a PAC account, both of which were promoting her campaign.

Due to her connection to both of these accounts, donations made by her donors exceeded the total allowed maximum donation.

The charges center around a transfer from the Stronger Rochester PAC to the Friends of Lovely Warren for $30,000.

Warren says this was an errant transfer and called the entire investigation a “political witch hunt,” according to The Blaze.

If Warren is convicted, she could be sentenced to as many as four years in jail — but according to the Democrat and Chronicle, a prison sentence is not likely.

But even if prosecutors take it easy on her, the more damaging consequence would be the loss of her pension due to a felony conviction.

Negative press

This is now the second negative series of headlines in the space of the last month for Warren. As you may recall, her leadership came under considerable scrutiny over its handling of the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man, while in police custody in March.

After the Rochester police chief turned in his resignation, Warren fired him, bringing a national — and not-so-positive — spotlight on her administration.

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