Local lawmakers react to Mayor Lovely Warren’s plea deal
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester area lawmakers are reacting to the news that Mayor Lovely Warren pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge.
The plea deal also covers the gun and child endangerment charges against her that stem from the New York State Police raid of her house back in May. The plea deal also requires Warren to resign no later than Dec. 1, 2021.
Malik Evans, Rochester’s presumed next mayor, told News10NBC Anchor Nikki Rudd he is still processing the news, and that he did not get a heads up about what would happen in court Monday.
He didn’t give his reaction to the plea, simply saying we have to stay focused in making sure the city of Rochester continues to move forward.
Rudd also asked him for his response to Mayor Warren’s punishment: One year conditional discharge and a requirement to resign no later than Dec. 1, 2021.
"I don’t know all of the legality as it relates to what was offered etc. etc.," Evans said. "I’m still processing it as probably our citizens in the community so, but my focus, I think, is on how can we move Rochester forward which I’m looking forward to doing, come January first."
Evans said he and the rest of City Council will continue to work with the Warren Administration, and that the people of Rochester have to be their main focus, not what happened in court.
"What I’m happy to do is to continue to work with the residents in the city of Rochester and everyone that wants to work to make our city strong," Evans said. "I think that that is what we all have to do together. I think all of us in this room and those that are not in this room have an obligation to work to ensure that we build a strong city."
Statements from local lawmakers can be found below.
Rochester City Council President Loretta C. Scott:
"Today, Mayor Warren accepted a plea deal in court, and in doing so, will resign as Mayor by December 1, 2021. Her decision marks the end of a difficult chapter in our City.
"Under the City Charter, Deputy Mayor James Smith will assume the role of Mayor upon her resignation. I am certain my colleagues on Council and the Administration will support this transition and continue the work necessary to best serve the citizens of Rochester.
"I want to thank Mayor Warren for her service to the City of Rochester. I am confident in her ability to serve the remaining time with the same dedication she has brought to office over the past seven years."
Rochester City Councilman Jose Peo:
"The resignation of Mayor Warren is a step in the right direction for the residents of the City of Rochester. While this is yet another downfall of a high ranking, political figure in New York State, this should also show that integrity and accountability is still taken seriously. We must restore integrity and transparency back to City Hall, and I plan to work with the new incoming administration to do just that."
City of Rochester Spokesman Justin Roj:
"Sorry City Hall has no comment on the court case and will defer to her attorneys on the matter."
Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart:
"Our democracy depends on fair elections. Both of Lovely Warren’s opponents raised this issue in 2017 and were ignored. Public corruption cannot be tolerated, and we have a lot of work to do at the state and local level to ensure ethical conduct. For starters, we need a New York State Board of Elections that enforces the law. I am glad to see a resolution that includes accountability."
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley:
“In every case that comes through our criminal justice system, we thoroughly review the evidence, charges and seek an appropriate disposition. In the case of Warren, Jones and Brooks-Harris, we find today’s resolution fair and just based on the nature of their crimes. 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. This is an important step in our larger efforts in promoting ethical elections in our state.”
Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Jacob Ark:
"The mayor was—all three defendants were—willing to take responsibility today," Ark said. "Obviously the mayor will no longer be mayor January first one way or another, prior to today. I think it’s time for our community to put this past us."