Rochester, NY Mayor Warren indicted on charges including defraud in first degree and violation of election law – Fox News

Rochester, N.Y., Mayor Lovely Warren was indicted Friday on campaign finance charges stemming from her re-election campaign three years ago, officials said.

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley announced that Warren is facing two felonies, including scheme to defraud in the first degree and violation of election law. Also charged were Warren’s campaign treasurer, Albert Jones Jr., and the treasurer of her political action committee, Rosalind Brooks-Harris.

Warren has not been arrested but will be processed, Doorley said. If convicted, she would be removed from office.

“This could be a long process and we anticipate that there could be challenges along the way so I don’t think this will be anything resolved quickly,” Doorley said during a news briefing.

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Rochester, N.Y. Mayor Lovely Warren was indicted Friday on charges she broke campaign finance rules and committed fraud during her reelection campaign three years ago. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

Rochester, N.Y. Mayor Lovely Warren was indicted Friday on charges she broke campaign finance rules and committed fraud during her reelection campaign three years ago. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

Warren has called the investigation a “political witch hunt.” Her lawyer did not return messages from Fox News seeking comment.

Specifics about the ongoing investigation were not revealed but the charges focused on Warren’s first term in office from November 2013 through November 2017 in which she raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for her re-election, RochesterFirst.com reported.

Doorley said the city’s first female mayor and others took steps to evade contribution limits.

The New York State Board of Elections has been investigating the mayor over financial interactions between a political action committee that supported her re-election and her campaign committee. At one point, the Warren for a Stronger Rochester PAC transferred $30,000 from the group to Warren’s committee, Friends of Lovely Warren, according to 2017 expenditure reports obtained by the news site.

Under state rules, PACs and committees are forbidden from coordinating. Warren claims the funds were mistakenly placed in the PAC account.

The indictment comes as Warren, a Democrat, faces political turmoil over the city’s handling of the death of Daniel Prude, who suffocated in March while in police custody.

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She suspended seven police officers with pay amid an ongoing investigation and the top leadership of the Rochester Police Department resigned last month. She eventually fired the city’s police chief.

Critics accused city and police officials of covering up the circumstances of Prude’s death, which weren’t fully understood until videos of the police encounter were released in September, sparking protests and calls for reforms. A medical examiner has ruled Prude’s death a homicide.

Warren is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.