ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — There could be a plea deal for Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren which would reduce the charges she is currently facing, but would also require her to resign.
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.
Warren along with two assistants are accused of using a PAC to get around donation limits during her 2017 campaign. They are facing two charges — scheme to defraud in the first degree, and violation of election law — both of which are class E felonies.
The legal camp representing Warren has elected to fight the charges in a jury trial, stressing the need for an impartial jury. The mayor’s campaign has said the money was placed in the PAC account by mistake.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley has said she believes the indictment indicates it was not done by accident. She also said a maximum sentence would be one to four years in state prison, but the final decision could vary.
The judge presiding over the mayor’s trail is Judge Thomas Leone of Cayuga County and is expected to last a few weeks. If the mayor is convicted on either felony charges she’ll be removed from office.
One of the attorneys in the courtroom told News 8 Monday that there are negotiations on the table to reduce the mayor’s felony charges to misdemeanor charges, which means the mayor’s law license would not be impacted and she could stay in office. The deal, however, would require Warren to resign.
Monday’s hearing is separate from another set of criminal charges the mayor is currently facing.
The mayor is serving the remainder of what is presumptively her last term in office. She was defeated by Malik Evans in this year’s June Democratic primary and is not on the November ballot.