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City Councilman McFadden pleads not guilty to federal charges

February 22, 2019 05:45 PM

 ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -  Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden pleaded not guilty Friday morning to charges of money laundering and wire fraud. 

The federal government charged him and the former Chairman of the Rochester Housing Authority Board George Moses with wire fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors allege McFadden and Moses cheated RHA out of thousands of dollars.

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According to federal documents, McFadden set up a company that was supposed to provide a list of services to the Rochester Housing Charities which were never performed, yet his company was paid more than $85,000 by the RHA. U.S. Attorney James Kennedy says this happened during the time of McFadden was executive director of the RHA and after, starting in October 2014 to December 2015.

"I've put a lot of time and energy into this community, and I will not stop doing that, working hard for my constituents," McFadden said outside of federal court Friday morning. "They have an opinion on what happened and I have an opinion about what happened and it'll get worked out in court. But right now, I'm not going to be hiding in my community, I'm not going to hold my head down. I have faith that my hard work speaks for itself and I'll continue that.

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr. held a news conference Friday morning to discuss the charges. Kennedy was joined by members of the FBI and the Department of Housing and Urban Development at the Federal Building on State Street.

"It's a very sad day when we have to charge an elected official with committing a federal crime, but my caution to politicians in our community in Rochester and throughout the Western District of New York is as follows: you are elected to serve and if you fail to serve and decide to take, you will be charged," Kennedy said.

Mayor Lovely Warren issued the following statement:

“Protecting the public trust must always come first. No one is above the law and, if found guilty, must be held accountable. My first concern is for the residents served by the Rochester Housing Authority. While the Housing Authority is an independent entity, and is not managed by the City, I remain committed to working with its leadership to ensure RHA’s residents have safe, affordable and quality housing. While Councilman McFadden’s legal proceedings progress, I believe we must all respect his right for a fair and impartial trial and he, like any other citizen, has a right to due process. As an attorney, I respect our legal system and know that it will work to deliver a just result in this case.”

Council President Loretta Scott issued the following statement following McFadden's arrest:

"Today, I learned of the arrest of my colleague on City Council, Adam C. McFadden, and while I have not had the opportunity to review the allegations in detail, I am obviously saddened by this news. I believe in due process and that everyone is innocent until proven otherwise."

Additionally, the Rochester Housing Authority also issued the following statement following the arrest of McFadden: 

"The Board of Commissioners and Executive Team at Rochester Housing Authority (RHA) will continue to cooperate fully with this ongoing federal investigation regarding Rochester Housing Charities and defers all related questions to the US Attorney's office or legal counsel for Mr. Moses and Councilman McFadden. 

As always, RHA remains focused on our mission of providing quality housing opportunities and related services for our residents and program participants serving more than 25,000 lower-income families, seniors and disabled residents in the five-county Greater Rochester area.  RHA's Board of Commissioners and Executive Team will continue to ensure that quality services remain uninterrupted.  

In addition, questions regarding Rochester Housing Charities (RHC), an independently operated 501(c) (3) entity, should be directed to them."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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