ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, accused of campaign finance violations and scheduled to go to trial Monday, instead accepted the terms of a plea deal in court.
Her resignation will be effective December 1.
Warren was not alone in her plea: Two assistants —Albert Jones Jr. and Rosiland Brooks-Harris— were also accused of using a PAC to get around donation limits during her 2017 campaign. They each faced two charges; scheme to defraud in the first degree, and violation of election law — both of which are class E felonies.
“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years and with E felonies normally there’s an offer for a misdemeanor before you get to court,” said Michael Schiano, attorney for Brooks-Harris. “It’s the lowest type of felony. This is not a surprise whatsoever. Anytime you have a low felony like that the DA does make an offer for a misdemeanor before they get indicted. We’re talking about people with no record in their 70s and 50s with no criminal record.”
Attorneys for Jones Jr. and Brooks-Harris claimed their clients accidentally violated the law out of negligence, and gained no money from the violations, even though donations to the Warren campaign from the political action committee in question exceeded the legal amount by over $20,000.
They say their clients attempted to correct the violations.