ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Community leaders are responding to the investigation surrounding Mayor Lovely Warren’s husband, Timothy Granison.
In an emotional press conference Thursday, Mayor Warren said she and Granison signed a separation agreement many years ago. She said during tough times, it’s her faith that keeps her going.
“I made the tough decisions and choices to beat every obstacle, at times faced with sickness and near death, but God brought me through,” Warren said.
Since Granison was arrested, local faith leaders have stepped up, expressing support for Warren.
“I think the mayor has been incriminated and criminalized due to her association with her estranged husband,” said Reverand Lewis Stewart, leader of the United Christian Leadership Ministry.
Rev. Lewis Stewart said he supports Warren as mayor and called the investigation a “smear campaign” and a “character assassination.” He also said he questions the timing of the investigation.
“Just nearly three weeks prior to the democratic primary… I think that this whole incident has been designed to hurt her political chances at becoming mayor for a third term,” he said.
Warren hasn’t had any charges filed against her, but City Councilmember Jose Peo says it’s important community leaders realize the impact their family member’s actions can have on them.
“I think it’s kind of a window into their decision-making. Unfortunately sometimes what our significant others do, it does impact our lives and they need to be aware of the fact that what they do is still in the public eye and people equate us to it,” Peo said.
Peo says he believes Warren should finish out the rest of her term for consistency, but if other city leaders asked her to step down, he wouldn’t have a problem with that.
“If city council were to step up and say maybe the mayor needs to step down, maybe the deputy mayor needs to step in, and the responsibility of the city now resides in the hands of the 9 elected members that represent the city, I would be very ok with that,” Peo said.
Peo also said he believes the Mayor has shown the Rochester community where her loyalties lie.
“It’s one thing if it was a one-off instance. I am a big fan of you know, understanding that people make mistakes and there needs to be accountability for actions that leaders take. But at this point, you need to understand as a person, when they show you who they are, you need to believe them,” Peo said. “At this point I believe the mayor has shown us who she is, and where her loyalties lie, and we need to believe her.”
Warren has held the position of mayor for Rochester since 2014. She and City Councilmember Malik Evans are vying for the position of mayor in next month’s primary election on June 22nd.
Granison is facing three felony charges related to drugs and weapons after being arrested earlier this week.
Timothy Granison is expected back in court on June 21st at 10 a.m.