Lovely Warren, the Mayoress of Rochester, NY, whose leadership was attacked after her government mistreated the death of a hooded black man, was charged Friday on two unrelated crimes.
The two-page indictment charges Ms. Warren, a Democrat, and two staff members of two campaign funding violations related to her second term in 2017.
Sandra Doorley, the Monroe County district attorney who exposed the criminal charges at a news conference Friday, said Ms. Warren participated in a “fraud program” related to her official campaign fund and a political action committee working to help her recover help -selected.
The grand jury’s indictment adds another crisis to a city in turmoil since Daniel Prude’s death became public. Protesters took to the streets over another black person’s death in an encounter with the police.
Mr Prude died in March of suffocation after his arrest by Rochester police officers. However, his death did not become public until his family received and posted body cam footage of the incident in September.
The footage showed police officers hooding Mr. Prude’s head for apparently spitting and claiming he had the coronavirus and a police officer using much of his weight to push on the head of the recumbent man. Mr Prude had to be resuscitated and died in a hospital a week later.
The footage was quickly followed by revelations that city officials prevented the body cam footage from being released. The ensuing scandal and cover-up allegations resulted in the Rochester Police Chief resigning and calls for Ms. Warren’s resignation escalated.
The investigation into Ms. Warren’s campaign finances has haunted her since two candidates who ran unsuccessfully against her in 2017 complained to the state electoral board.
Ms. Warren, who strongly denied any wrongdoing and previously dismissed the investigation as a “political witch hunt,” would be removed from office if convicted of the crime. Ms. Warren is the first female and second African American mayor of Rochester, a city of approximately 200,000 people in western New York.
She is due to be indicted Monday afternoon along with her co-defendants, Albert Jones Jr., the campaign treasurer, and Rosiland Brooks Harris, the finance director.