*Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren has agreed to resign amid the scandal related to how she spent campaign funds.
As reported by NBC News, Warren will resign shortly before her term ends as part of a deal to settle charges she violated campaign finance rules during her 2017 reelection campaign.
Here’s more from the outlet:
Warren was scheduled to go on trial Monday on felony charges she and two assistants took steps to evade contribution limits. Instead, Warren and her two co-defendants each pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of accepting campaign contributions that exceeded legal limits, according to the Monroe County district attorney’s office. The deal also resolves separate charges related to unsecured firearms in her home.
Warren has acknowledged making errors with the bookkeeping of campaign contributions and said they were honest mistakes, not crimes. She referred to the investigation as a political witch hunt.
Her resignation will be effective by Dec. 1.
“Leaving the past behind and looking forward to a brighter future. Thank you Rochester,” Warren wrote on Facebook. “We’ve accomplished a lot together, but in the end, I thank God that I’m able to choose family over everything.”
“Clearly, there was no scheme to defraud,” Warren’s attorney, Joseph Damelio, told reporters outside of court.
District Attorney Sandra Doorley called the resolution “fair and just”.
“Moving forward, the ramifications of the Mayor’s conduct spans beyond the criminal justice system. The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office is pleased that all three defendants are willing to take responsibility for their actions and admit their wrongdoing,” Doorley said in a statement.
Last summer, Warren faced calls to resign over her handling of the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who stopped breathing after police placed him in a mesh hood and pressed him to the pavement, EURweb previously reported.
The incident took place in March 2020 but only came to light six months later in September when the family released police bodycam footage. In a news conference, the brother of 41-year-old Daniel Prude said he called Rochester police on March 23 to report that Daniel was having acute mental health problems and running naked through the streets in light snow. Daniel Prude, a warehouse worker from Chicago and father of five, was visiting his brother, Joe Prude, at the time. Bodycam footage obtained by the family shows the victim unarmed as officers restrained him on the ground.
In the video, Daniel Prude complies immediately when officers arrived and ordered him to lie on the ground with his hands behind his back. Once he was restrained, Prude told officers that he had COVID-19. Police then placed a “spit hood” over his head. Prude demands they remove it. The officers then slam Prude’s head into the street. One officer holds his head down against the pavement with both hands, saying “stop spitting” as Prude’s shouts turn to whimpers and grunts.
Another officer places a knee on his back. The officers appear to become concerned when they notice water coming out of Prude’s mouth. After Prude stops writhing and goes quiet, one officer can be heard saying, “He feels pretty cold.”
Medics tried to revive him before he’s carried into an ambulance. When he arrived at the hospital 15 minutes later, he was brain dead. He was taken off life support on March 30.
Rochester’s city council called for a probe into Prude’s death and concluded that Warren lied to the public about details of the case.