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Rochester mayor indicted on felony campaign finance charges

Rochester mayor indicted on felony campaign finance charges
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Rochester, N.Y., Mayor Lovely Warren, was indicted Friday on two felony campaign finance charges.

The charges stem from Warren's reelection campaign three years ago, according to the indictment, which also charges two associates, The New York Times reported.

The indictment accuses Warren, a Democrat, of "knowingly and willfully" attempting to evade contribution limits while engaging in "a systemic and ongoing course of conduct with the intent to defraud more than one person."

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The investigation into Warren's finances has been underway since two candidates who ran against her in 2017 issued complaints to the state Board of Elections.

Warren has denied any wrongdoing and previously called the investigation a "political witch hunt." If convicted, she would be removed from office.

Warren is the first female and second African American mayor of Rochester, home to around 200,000 people in Western New York.

She is slated for arraignment Monday afternoon along with her co-defendants, Albert Jones Jr., her campaign's treasurer, and Rosiland Brooks Harris, campaign finance director.

The indictment comes as the city battles another crisis over the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of suffocation after police arrested him in March.

Rochester experienced unrest last month as demonstrations unfolded in parts of the city against police brutality and racial justice.

His death did not go public until his family released body-cam footage of the arrest in September.