Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is accused of using a political action committee to get around donations limits in her 2017 reelection campaign.
On Monday she pleaded not guilty to felony charges of alleged campaign finance fraud.
The mayor was released under her own recognizance.
The court appearance comes three days after the second-term mayor and two political associates were indicted. Albert Jones Jr., Warren’s campaign treasurer, and Rosalind Brooks-Harris, who was the treasurer of a political action committee for Warren and now serves as Rochester’s finance director, also entered not guilty pleas.
As with Warren, prosecutors made no bail request for them. All three are scheduled to have their next court appearance Jan. 12.
Sandra Doorley, the Monroe County District Attorney, said that she did not believe he indictment “affects her ability to serve as the mayor…” “Lovely Warren is still the mayor of the city of Rochester. Mayoral business needs to continue.
The mayor/s attorney, Joseph Damelio told WXXI that she is innocent of the charges.
“Her position has not changed one bit and that is she’s innocent and that she maintains that she did not intend to violate the law,” said Damelio. “She did not knowingly violate the law and she’s anxious to get this process started and she’s ready to go to trial.”
-Statement from Council President Loretta C. Scott:
“Today, a grand jury indicted Mayor Warren and City Finance Director Brooks-Harris, and while I have not had the opportunity to review the indictment in detail, I am obviously saddened by this news. I believe in due process and that everyone is innocent until proven otherwise. I want to assure the community that the business of the City will continue uninterrupted.”