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McFadden pleads guilty, vacating City Council

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City Councilmember Adam McFadden - FILE PHOTO
  • City Councilmember Adam McFadden
[ UPDATED ] Rochester City Council Vice President Adam McFadden pleaded guilty to federal charges on Monday morning, including a count of wire fraud and a violation regarding filing a false tax return.

McFadden was charged in February with wire fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering after an investigation involving an entity funded by the Rochester Housing Authority.

According to the federal plea agreement, McFadden would receive a sentence of 12 to 18 months, assuming that a federal judge approves that agreement.

It also calls for a fine ranging from $5,500 to $55,000, as well as paying restitution on the wire fraud charge of $87,500 and restitution to the IRS of $46,865 plus interest.

With the original charges, McFadden could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
He'll be sentenced in June.

Under state law, his seat on City Council became vacant when he pleaded guilty. The remaining members of City Council will nominate and appoint his replacement. According to the City Charter, members of the same political party as the departing Council member are to nominate a replacement, which the full Council votes on. But because all Rochester City Council members are Democrats,  the results of Council's nomination vote and the appointment vote will be the same.

One possible candidate is County Legislator LaShay Harris. McFadden's term expires at the end of this year, and after initially accepting the Democratic Party's designation for another term, McFadden had announced recently that he would not be running. Harris announced that she was running for McFadden's seat shortly after he made that announcement.

But Rochester teacher Ann C. Lewis also hopes to run for the seat in the June Democratic Primary and is collecting petition signatures.

City Council President Loretta Scott said Monday afternoon that she would be asking the Monroe County Democratic Committee for recommendations to fill the remainder of McFadden's term. And the MCDC said the South District Democratic committee will meet "in the coming weeks" to recommend someone.

Whoever is appointed to the seat will fill McFadden's seat until January 1.

McFadden's resignation also leaves Council without a vice president. Scott said she will submit legislation nominating a new vice president for Council to consider. She said she plans to serve as interim chair of Council's Finance Committee, a position McFadden also held, until she appoints a replacement, which she said she will do by the end of April.

This article has been updated to reflect additional information about the selection of McFadden's replacement on Council.