What’s an anti-gun mayor supposed to say when police raid her home and find illegally possessed firearms and illicit drugs inside? In the case of Rochester, New York mayor Lovely Warren, the answer is to claim that you’re the victim of a political investigation and an attempt to derail your re-election campaign.
“I find the timing of yesterday’s events, three weeks before early voting starts, to be highly suspicious,” Warren said, in her speech, which was posted by Rochester First.
“There’s nothing implicating me in these charges today, because I’ve done nothing wrong. I haven’t spoken to Tim since his arrest, and I’m not standing here to defend him.”
“Tim” is Timothy Granison, Warren’s husband and the alleged owner of an unregistered handgun discovered in the couple’s home earlier this week (a modern sporting rifle was found as well, though so far police haven’t said if was registered with the state as required under New York’s SAFE Act set of gun control laws). Warren’s correct in noting that she’s not currently facing charges in connection with the drug investigation, though the mayor is facing felony charges of her own in a case involving alleged violations of the state’s campaign financing laws.
Still, it stretches credulity to believe that Warren would have had no idea of her husband’s alleged activity. If the mayor can’t even keep felons from keeping drugs and guns in her home (Granison was convicted of felony robbery in 1997, when he was 18), can she really be trusted to keep drug dealers and gun traffickers out of the city she manages?
Rather than address that obvious question, Warren instead chose to pin the blame on the prosecutor in her first public comments after her husband’s arrest, accusing Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley of targeting her husband in an attempt to help Warren’s opponent in the mayoral race. Dooley, however, had already thrown cold water on that idea while announcing the arrest of Granison and six other accused drug dealers on Thursday.
In her remarks to reporters, Doorley took pains to dismiss any suggestion that the raid on Warren’s home and the arrest of her husband were motivated by politics. She explained that Granison only became a suspect at some point into the seven-month probe.
“I’m sure there are going to be people out there who think that this is politically motivated. It was not,” Doorley said. “Timothy Granison was not the original target of this wire investigation.
“Approximately seven months I met with members of law enforcement, we had a target, we began to go up on phones, as we do with a wiretap investigations,” she went on. “During the course of the investigation, Timothy Granison became apparent to us as being a plyer in this narcotics ring, and it was at this point that we followed the evidence. Simple as that.”
While the outcome of Granison’s criminal case is unclear (he’s pleaded not guilty to the felony charges), one thing is certain: next Tuesday’s mayoral debate between Lovely Warren and challenger Malik Evans, a Rochester city council member, should be one for the ages. Thankfully, it’ll be streamed online, so even if you don’t live in the Rochester area you’ll be able to tune in for what will be some must-see TV.