Mayor Lovely Warren ‘leaving the past behind,’ thanks Rochester ahead of leaving office

Local Politics

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Outgoing Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren published a brief post on Facebook Monday where she thanked Rochester, said she’s looking forward to the future, and added she was grateful to be able to “choose family over everything.”

The mayor accepted a plea deal in court Monday that reduced her felony campaign finance charges to election law violations, meaning she could keep her law license.

Terms of the plea deal included the mayor’s effective resignation date of December 1, 2021 — a month until she would be leaving office anyways after losing in a Democratic primary to City Councilmember Malik Evans earlier this year.

The mayor’s trial was scheduled to begin Monday for charges over alleged campaign finance violations that date back to her 2017 re-election campaign. Two campaign assistants and co-defendants in the case — Albert Jones Jr. and Rosiland Brooks-Harris — also accepted plea deals Monday.

The mayor said in court, on advice from her counsel, that she would refrain from commenting on the guilty plea Monday and she exited the Hall of Justice without addressing reporters, making her only public statement on the social media platform that had an extended outage throughout the day. She wrote:

“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.”

The mayor’s guilty plea also resolved separate criminal charges in an unrelated case, stemming from a drug bust in May that led to her estranged husband’s arrest. In that case, the mayor was facing charges of criminal possession of a firearm, a Class E felony, with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor and two counts of failure to lock/secure firearms in a dwelling — a misdemeanor in violation of the Rochester City Code.

Deputy Mayor James Smith will succeed Warren upon her effective resignation date, and Evans is due to be sworn in as the city’s new mayor come January.

Prior to being mayor, Warren served on Rochester City Council from 2007 through 2013, and was elected as Council President in 2010, becoming the youngest person to hold that position in the Council’s history.

Warren was the first woman to become Rochester mayor, and the city’s youngest mayor in modern times. She was born and raised in the city’s 19th Ward Neighborhood.

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