Rochester mayor’s trial to examine campaign funding
ROCHESTER, NY (AP) – Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is set to stand trial this week along with two associates for breaking campaign fundraising rules during his 2017 re-election campaign.
Warren, campaign treasurer Albert Jones Jr. and Rosiland Brooks-Harris, city finance director and treasurer of a pro-Warren political action committee, are accused of exceeding campaign funding limits in illegally moving money between his campaign committee and the old PAC.
Warren lost her re-election campaign when she was defeated in the Democratic primary by city council member Malik Evans and is expected to step down in January. A conviction on one of the two charges she faces would require her impeachment, with Deputy Mayor James Smith taking over for the remainder of her term. The trial is expected to last four to six weeks.
Defense attorneys said all the lapses were unintentional and were not part of a coordinated plan, and that Warren’s campaign committee had rectified the mistakes.
“There was no intention to defraud,” said Joseph Damelio, Warren’s lawyer. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Attorney John DeMarco, representing Jones, told the newspaper the conduct “was arguably negligent, but I do not consider it criminal.”
In a statement, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office said it was eager to bring the case to justice and the evidence “will show the importance of election law enforcement and related charges.”
In July, Warren and her husband Timothy Granison pleaded not guilty to unrelated charges stemming from a police raid that allegedly revealed a rifle and pistol, and her 10-year-old daughter alone, in the home they share.
The May search was part of a cocaine trafficking investigation, investigators said at the time, and Granison was subsequently charged with drugs and weapons and pleaded not guilty. Warren has not been charged in the drug case.