The description of the financial case of Mayor Warren’s campaign explained

The description of the financial case of Mayor Warren's campaign explained

The allegation by the District Attorney’s Office is the donors who maxed out to the mayor’s campaign account donated thousands to the PAC, and the PAC spent money directly to the mayor’s campaign.

The mayor would not take questions about this Friday, but her spokesman, Justin Roj, did.

Roj: “Sure.”

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: “You talk to the mayor on a daily basis.”

Story Highlights

  • In 2015, a political action committee (PAC) started Warren for a Stronger Rochester. Eventually, that name changed to PAC for a Stronger Community. The PAC could donate a maximum of $8,557 to the mayor’s campaign.

  • Mayor Warren is one of three people charged in the case.

Brean: “How is she feeling on the eve of her trial?”

Roj: “I think the mayor is focused as she always is on the well-being of the city. She’s confident in her innocence and that she’s done nothing wrong. She’s expressed that to the community before.”

When the mayor was indicted, Brean asked District Attorney Sandra Doorley why the public should care about this. Doorley: “These are laws on the books that allow and assure that people who run for political office follow the rules.”

Brean: “Does this come down to cheating? is it just cheating?” Doorley: “Well, Berkeley, let’s look at the first count in the indictment. We assert by this indictment that this is allegedly a scheme to defraud.”

Rochester’s Deputy Mayor James Smith will be in charge of operations on a daily basis and the mayor is a phone call or text away. Roj: “The deputy mayor serves as the chief operating officer of the city so between the entire management team, they’re going to make sure the work of the city gets done and the residents are served.”

A month before the indictment, the mayor called the problem an accounting mistake and said the investigation was political, saying “Come January, I’ll be running for reelection and I believe this is a political witch hunt.” Brean spoke to New York City Lawyer Jerry Goldfeder, who has defended public officials accused of campaign finance crimes.

Roj: “Well certainly, if there’s an emergency the mayor is accessible on the phone and if there’s a need for her to leave the court she’ll certainly address that and deal with anything that comes.” Brean: “And if there’s an emergency, do you have a plan?”