ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, who has faced calls to resign over her city’s handling of the suffocation death of Daniel Prude at the hands of police, pleaded not guilty Monday to campaign finance charges dating to her 2017 reelection campaign.
A lawyer for the second-term mayor, a Democrat, entered the plea on her behalf. Warren had been indicted Friday by a grand jury on charges of scheming to defraud and violating election laws. Through her lawyer, Warren has said she did not intentionally break any law.
Warren, leader of the Lake Ontario city of more than 200,000 people, was arraigned in Monroe County Court. Sitting in the front row and wearing a face mask, Warren said she had no questions when asked by the judge.
If convicted, she could be sentenced to up to four years in prison, lose her law license and be removed from office, according to the district attorney, Sandra Doorley.
Warren’s campaign treasurer, Albert Jones Jr., and Rosalind Brooks-Harris, the treasurer of a political action committee that backed Warren, also pleaded not guilty in Monroe County Court. All are accused of taking steps to evade contribution limits between Nov. 6, 2013, and Nov. 7, 2017. Motions will be argued Jan. 12.
Doorley had said Friday that election officials began fielding complaints about Warren’s campaign finances in 2017, when the incumbent defeated two challengers in a Democratic primary prior to her reelection.