Rochester, NY- Less than 60 days into the 2017 Rochester Mayoral Race and two of the three campaigns and their candidates, Lovely Warren and Rachel Barnhart, are engulfed by a complex web of allegations and ties to corruption surrounding money, deals and Albany lobbyists.
Reporting out of the Democrat and Chronicle strongly indicates that Mayor Lovely Warren and Albany Lobbyist, Robert Scott Gaddy, remain under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I.).
The FBI’s investigation continues to research the affairs and estate of the late Assemblyman Bill Nojay. This is the latest chapter in a tale of twisted acquaintances, deals and corruption that has characterized New York State politics. What is even more discouraging is how this type of gutter politics connects to the Monroe County region and more importantly Rochester, NY.
First off, BRAVO to the hard work of the Democrat & Chronicle and media persons, Virginia Butler, Steve Orr, Gary Craig and Meaghan McDermott who have spearheaded the reporting and research on this topic. It was not too long ago that we launched the North Coast because of what we saw as an absence of fundamental questioning and critical analysis of the state of politics and government. This is truly a step in the right direction.
The North Coast was the first news source to break the connection between Gaddy, Warren, Barnhart and Republican Strategist Arnie Rothchild back in early 2016. It was this group that conspired to work together to try and overthrow sitting incumbent, Assemblyman Harry Bronson. Bronson later went on to win handily against Barnhart, who was both outwitted and outgunned in a vigorous campaign.
Like Warren’s 2013 Mayoral campaign, fueled by $40,000 of hidden cash, Gaddy and Rothchild funded Barnhart with $20,000 in shadow money. When questioned, Barnhart stated at the time she would repay the money, but no records can be found to substantiate this claim.
The source of the current FBI investigation centers around the $40,000 dollars Gaddy and Nojay used through a secret Florida company to fund Warren’s 2013 Mayoral campaign and Warren’s attempts later to steer the contracts for the Rochester City School District’s facilities modernization plan to company DeWolf EPIC.
City Hall and Rochester City School District insiders have confirmed that multiple calls were made and meetings were had by Mayor Lovely Warren with members of the Facilities Modernization Board.
According to a source whose identity will remain anonymous for their own protection,
“The meetings were held to strong arm us into giving DeWolf EPIC the contract. None of us at the time could understand why she [Mayor Warren] was so adamant about helping this company at the time. Now, this new news seems to shed some light on the reasons.”
At this point neither Barnhart or Warren have addressed these allegations and their effect on their respective Mayoral campaigns.
This information does continue to raise questions as to why Mayor Warren has not officially announced a reelection campaign for Mayor and many wonder if this will ever happen given the ongoing investigation.
The closest example we can find to these types of issues with a Mayor in the United States was in Detroit Michigan with Mayor Kilpartick. Mayor Kilpatrick is currently serving 28 years in jail.
Time will tell, but things don’t look good for Warren or Barnhart.
~Juan Garcia is a freelance blogger who lives in Rochester. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Excerpt from the Democrat and Chronicle;
“The FBI inquiry into the school contract led to related matters, including what the criminal complaint described as "suspicious campaign finance activity." That refers at least in part to an independent political action committee that backed Warren’s insurgent campaign for mayor in 2013, three independent sources have told the Democrat and Chronicle. As the newspaper reported last year, Nojay worked covertly for that committee.
The political action committee was created shortly before the Democratic primary that fall by Albany lobbyist Robert Scott Gaddy, an associate of both Nojay and Warren. Gaddy provided the PAC with $40,000. He and Nojay, who worked through a Florida shell company that disguised his involvement, spent the money producing pro-Warren radio ads and literature.”
~Steve Orr and Gary Craig , Democrat and Chronicle Published 12:29 p.m. ET Feb. 17, 2017