Rochester Mayor Indicted In Campaign Finance Probe
In this Sept. 2, 2020, photo, Mayor Lovely Warren, left, addresses the media in Rochester, N.Y., about the death of Daniel Prude. Top police leaders in Rochester, New York, have announced their retirements amid nightly protests over the handling of the suffocation death of Daniel Prude. (Jamie Germano/Democrat & Chronicle via AP)
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren was indicted Friday on charges she broke campaign finance rules and committed fraud during her reelection campaign three years ago.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley also announced charges against Warrens campaign treasurer, Albert Jones Jr., and the treasurer of her political action committee, Rosalind Brooks-Harris.
The indictment dramatically increases political peril for Warren, who was already facing calls to resign for the citys handling of the suffocation of Daniel Prude. The Democrat is midway through her second term as the first female and second Black mayor of Rochester, a city of more than 200,000 by Lake Ontario.
State Board of Elections investigators had previously concluded there was considerable evidence that Warren, her associates and a political action committee supporting her campaign took steps to intentionally evade campaign donation limits, according to local media reports.
The Monroe County District Attorneys Office had previously acknowledged an investigation, but has not disclosed any details.
Warren has referred to the investigation as a political witch hunt. Her lawyer didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.
Demonstrators have been calling for reforms and top-level resignations in Rochester since videos were released in September of Prude being handcuffed by officers on a city street. Officers put a hood over his head to stop him from spitting, then held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He died a week later after he was taken off life support.
The body-camera video was taken early on the morning of March 23, but wasnt released until five months later after an open records request by Prudes family.
Critics accused police and city officials of covering up Prudes killing, though Warren said she had no idea the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide until Aug. 4, when she saw the video.
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