“There was no intent here. It was an honest mistake,” Mayor Lovely Warren told WXXI Connections Host Evan Dawson Wednesday, regarding her Political Action Committee, Warren for a Stronger Rochester, transferring 30 thousand dollars to her campaign committee, Friends of Lovely Warren.
New York State law forbids PACs from coordinating with campaign committees.
Warren’s campaign claims the money was originally meant for Friends of Lovely Warren, but was accidentally placed in the PAC account through a PayPal error.
Opponents in the mayor’s race aren’t buying it.
“We have filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections and the State Attorney General. We have received a receipt that they have received our complaint,” Mayoral Candidate Jim Sheppard said.
“This isn’t a mistake,” Mayoral Candidate Rachel Barnhart said. “This is criminal activity and it needs to be prosecuted; at the very least investigated and resolved.”
Common Cause New York Director Susan Lerner said the money move should at least be scrutinized; wondering if coordination had to exist for the PayPal mistake to even happen.
“That’s an awful lot of money to make a mistake on,” said Lerner. “It’s impossible for any of us to determine exactly what happened.”
Mayor Warren told Dawson her campaign has been in touch with election law enforcement.
News 8 reached out to the State Board of Elections for clarification and they declined to comment.
The concern among Warren’s opponents and Common Cause is that any investigation won’t wrap up until after the September primary.