ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, a onetime rising star in the Democratic Party who faces corruption charges that could end her career — and land her behind bars — appeared in a Monroe County courtroom Monday to plead not guilty to all charges.

Warren, 43, is accused of bypassing campaign contribution limits when she successfully ran for reelection as mayor in 2017.

Cayuga County Judge Thomas Leone will preside over her case in Monroe County to possibly avoid any judicial ties to the mayor.

“In my 14 years on the bench, I’ve never told my administrative judge ‘no,’ so here I am in Rochester today,” he said.

Appearing via a live stream at Monroe County Supreme Court, Warren sat cross-legged in the courtroom’s first row wearing a lilac face mask and a white coat.

Leone didn’t mince words in releasing the embattled mayor from custody as her court case plays out.

“Ms. Warren, I am going to release you on your own recognizance,” the judge said, further warning her not to get into “any trouble.”

“If you are convicted of the most serious charges here — well, they’re all Class E felonies — I’ll show you absolutely no consideration whatsoever, and I will sentence you to prison, do you understand that?” he added.

“Yes,” Warren solemnly responded.

Warren was indicted on first-degree scheme to defraud and election law violation by a Rochester grand jury on Friday. The charges came after a years-long investigation into her 2017 reelection campaign, prosecutors said.

Warren’s campaign treasurer, Albert Jones Jr., and treasurer Rosalind Brooks-Harris of the political action committee “Warren for a Strong Rochester” also face charges in the case. Brooks-Harris is also Rochester City’s finance director.

The mayor could serve up to four years in prison if convicted; she also faces

The first presidential debate got personal right out the gate Tuesday night as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called President Trump “the worst president America has ever had” and Trump said there is “nothing smart” about the former vice president.



Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: President Trump challenges former vice president to take a side during first debate


© FoxNews.com
President Trump challenges former vice president to take a side during first debate

The first showdown, which took place Tuesday night in Cleveland, Ohio and was moderated by “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace, heated up quickly as Trump and the former vice president traded personal barbs as they fielded questions on ObamaCare, the Supreme Court and the coronavirus pandemic.

Leading up to the debate, sources close to the Biden campaign told Fox News that the former vice president wouldn’t engage in personal attacks or respond to any insults leveled against him by Trump.

But Biden, within the first half of the debate, slammed the president as a “liar” and a “clown” and repeatedly called on him to “shut up.”

“Would you shut up, man?” Biden said to Trump, calling him “unpresidential.”

Later, Biden cut Trump off again, saying: “Will he just shush for a minute?”

Meanwhile, the president slammed Biden, saying the former vice president is not “smart.”

“You graduated the lowest in your class,” Trump said to Biden, after he said the president should become “smart” with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Don’t ever use the word smart with me,” Trump said. “Nothing smart about you Joe.”

The president, when asked about his campaign rallies, said that Biden doesn’t hold events because “nobody shows up to his events.”

“People want to hear what I have to say,” Trump said.

The debate shifted to taxes. Biden vowed to repeal the “Trump tax code,” and the president cut him off questioning why he didn’t propose a better tax plan