ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren held a press conference Thursday to address her husband’s arrest, where she claimed her innocence and said the investigation was politically motivated.
The mayor’s husband, 42-year-old Timothy Granison, was arrested following a search warrant execution Wednesday night. Thursday he pleaded not guilty to two charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, and one charge of criminal possession of a firearm.
“Good afternoon and thank you joining for me here,” Mayor Warren said. “Let’s ask ourselves ‘why?’ Many emotions have gone through my head, starting with confusion, anger, betrayal, and hurt. This past year I’ve faced insurmountable odds: I lost my mom, my mentor, my father figure, faced COVID-19, and civil unrest. It knocked me down, but not out.
“I’ve said that this is my Job year, having been baptized at the age of 13, and always relying on my faith to carry me through,” Warren said. “I made the tough decisions and choices to beat every obstacle, at times faced with sickness and near death, but God brought me through. That leaves me here today.
“I woke up with my daughter in my arms,” Warren said. “She looked up at me and said ‘mommy, this is not your fault. Don’t give up.’ I woke up to the fact that the man I have signed a separation agreement with — many years ago after both of us made a conscious decision in the interested of our child to co-parent together — is accused of committing a crime. I woke up to the fact that some people would do anything to try to break me. I woke up to the fact that the state board of elections would lie and send documents full of untruths. A document that did not follow the law, sent to the district attorney. A district attorney who was eager, and angry at me or support her opponent. That she would even make a deal with a convicted criminal to harm me.
“I woke up to the fact that people will try anything to break me, but every step of the way, God has guided my path,” Warren said. “He showed me the way to repair our police department. He showed me a way to fully fund the Police Accountability Board. He showed me how to overcome, and just when I began to see things a little bit clearer, he also showed me that things re not that different than the 1860s and 1950s.
“So let’s ask ourselves ‘why?’ Mayor Warren said. “I find the timing of yesterday’s events, three weeks before early voting starts, to be highly suspicious. There’s nothing implicating me in these charges today, because I’ve done nothing wrong. I haven’t spoken to Tim since his arrested, and I’m not standing here to defend him. Again, we had a separation agreement that was signed years ago, and we made a conscious decision to co-parent in the best interests of our daughter, to provide her the love and support she deserves.
“But we still need to ask ourselves ‘why?” Warren said. “Because they saw, as you saw, that momentum was building in our favor in the mayoral race, and I was going to be found innocent in my election law case, because I did nothing wrong. Let’s ask ourselves ‘why?’ At the exact time that the police were knocking on my door, the New York Times, all the way from Manhattan, were sending me an email asking me about this.
“Finally, we need to ask ourselves, if this is not about politics, why is Tim’s next court date June 21 — the day before primary day?” Warren said. “Now, that’s quite the coincidence. Now, when you figure out those answers to those questions, come find me, because I’ll be working.”
The mayor did not take questions at her press conference.
Monroe County District Attorney said during an earlier press conference that the investigation was not about politics. She said the mayor’s husband wasn’t targeted in the months-long investigation, but evidence ultimately led police to him.
Mayor Warren’s full press conference
District Attorney Doorley’s press conference
Following a traffic stop in the city Wednesday, New York State Police executed a search warrant at the home of Mayor Warren and her husband.
Granison, 42, was ultimately booked into the Monroe County Jail after the search warrant was executed and arraigned Thursday morning in Rochester City Court.
The mayor’s husband pleaded not guilty to all three felonies he’s facing, including:
- Criminal possession of a controlled substance, third degree, class B felony
- Criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, third degree, class B felony
- Criminal possession of a firearm, class E felony
The judge released Granison on his own recognizance as bail is not allowed on these charges. He is due back in court on June 21 at 10 a.m.
“Yesterday, at approximately 3:30 p.m., members of the New York State Police Violent Gangs and Narcotics Enforcement Team, along with uniformed state troopers, stopped a vehicle outside 5 Birch Crescent in the City of Rochester relative to an ongoing narcotics investigation,” said Maj. Barry Chase of the New York State Police. “Operating the vehicle was Timothy Granison. He was in possession of a large quantity of cocaine.”
Following the traffic stop, state police executed the search warrant and Warren and Granison’s home on Woodlawn Park in the City of Rochester.
“An unregistered handgun was located inside this residence, so in addition to the drug charges, Mr. Granison has been charged with criminal possession of a firearm, a felony,” Maj. Chase said. “Mr. Granison was committed to Wayne County Jail last evening, was arraigned this morning in Rochester City Court, and was subsequently released to reappear on June 21.”
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said Granison’s arrest was a part of a major law enforcement investigation into drugs in the City of Rochester.
“Warrants were served at several locations last evening and early this morning as a part of an accumulation of a longer term narcotics investigation,” Doorley said. “This was an investigation spanning close to seven months, a title three wiretap investigation that was run by my office.
In total, there were seven houses in the City of Rochester where search warrants were executed:
- 93 Woodman Park (home of the mayor)
- 5 Birch Crescent
- 62 Clifton Street
- 230 Glenwood Avenue
- 287 Frost Street
- 132 Electric Avenue
- 15 Elwood Drive
- 2013 Norton Street
In addition to Granison, six others have been arrested and the charges as are follows:
- 39-year-old Dkeidron Dublin was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree with Intent to sell, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 4th Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree
- 44-year-old Jason Siplin was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 1st Degree and three counts of Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia in the 2nd Degree
- 27-year-old Jason Siplin, Jr. was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 1st Degree and Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia in the 2nd Degree
- 30-year-old Namon Brown was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree with Intent to sell and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree
- 19-year-old Ernest S. Gamble was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree with Intent to sell and two counts of Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia in the 2nd Degree
- 32-year-old Lytrice Jackson was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd Degree with Intent to sell and two counts of Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia in the 2nd Degree
Doorley added that more arrests could be coming.
“We are not done with our searches, but we can tell you at this point, we have secured over 2 kilos of powdered and crack cocaine with a street value of approximately $60,000,” Doorley said. “We’ve recovered three firearms, we’ve recovered one semi-automatic rifle. We’re still not sure if it is legal, it will be examined by the Monroe County crime lab. We have recovered more than $100,000 cash.”
Doorley said the mayor was living at the house on Woodman Park where the search warrant was executed, but was not home at the time. Doorley said the mayor’s daughter was home alone at the time. Officials say she called a family member to pick her up and she left the residence.
The district attorney said this drug bust was not politically motivated, adding that Granison was not the original target of this investigation, but evidence ultimately led police to him.
“If you look at the amount of cocaine seized, money seized, weapons seized — we believe this whole organization was a midlevel drug organization that was affecting the City of Rochester,” Doorley said.
Maj. Chase said authorities have reached out to Mayor Warren and are interested in speaking with her in regards to the investigation.
“We have reached out to her attorney and we were waiting to hear back, but we do want to interview her regarding the criminal investigation,” Maj. Chase said.
Doorley would not comment on if the mayor could be implicated in the criminal investigation. She would not comment if the mayor could be heard on the wire taps either. Doorley said the search warrant was not related to the campaign finance charges Mayor Warren is currently facing.
Statement from Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott
I was totally surprised to hear of the raid that was conducted at the home of Mayor Lovely Warren yesterday.
My understanding is that the investigation is still in the early stages; therefore, there is not much I can say at this time.
Despite yesterday’s event, I have every reason to believe that Mayor Warren will continue to do her job and will remain focused on serving the citizens of Rochester.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.