Rochester for All strongly condemns Mayor Lovely Warren’s remarks on this morning’s The Brother Wease Show. When questioned about her potentially fraudulent political action committee, Warren called Rochester for All Director Rachel Barnhart “a joke” and “not credible.” (Listen to podcast here.)
Barnhart has a two-decade record of solid journalism.
“Losing an election doesn’t make Rachel a punchline or a liar,” Rochester for All Deputy Director Eric Stevens said. “It’s unfortunate the mayor chose to make personal attacks instead of talk about this very serious matter.”
To date, no one has provided any corrections to Rochester for All’s analysis of Warren’s campaign finance activity. We welcome any alternate analysis or additional information that would supplement or contradict the public record.
Warren said on the radio that the Board of Elections has not sustained any allegations regarding her PAC. That’s misleading, since there’s no indication a formal investigation has occurred. If Warren has been cleared of wrongdoing, she should provide proof.
Last week, Rochester for All submitted a complaint to the Board of Elections detailing what we believe to be an unprecedented scheme in New York State. Warren used her PAC as a second campaign committee, a place where she could receive money from donors without worrying about legal limits.The PAC supported Warren’s reelection efforts by paying for approximately $150,000 in campaign-related expenses. Warren also spread PAC money around to churches and community groups, which benefited her politically. The PAC was also used for personal expenses. Under the law, a PAC can only be used to make direct or in-kind contributions to candidates or political committees. This PAC was likely a fraudulent entity.
This complaint included an affidavit from Robert Scott Gaddy and a 2015 letter from attorney Robert Shaddock offering legal advice to the PAC’s treasurer. Both men could be important witnesses in proving Warren’s conduct was “willfully and knowingly.” Warren was explicitly told that PACs cannot make expenditures to aid campaigns. Gaddy is a lobbyist and attorney who helped Warren with political activities until their falling out last year.
Rochester for All’s complaint is at least the second one filed in regards to this matter. Former mayoral candidate James Sheppard filed a complaint earlier this year.
Rochester for All urges Sugarman and the Attorney General to conduct a swift investigation, and ensure the integrity of our elections.