City Council President, Sonya Arrington's initial appearance was on April 19th at 4:00pm in federal court where she entered a plea of not guilty to the 33 felony counts she is facing. 31 of the 33 charges are related to the improper, personal use of money made from MATV. MATV (Mothers Against Teen Violence) is an organization founded by Sonya in 2010 after the fatal shooting of her son. "A lot of her contributions in my opinion have reduced some of the gun violence that is so prevalent in certain neighborhoods in this community," her attorney Ambrose commented during an interview with Jackie Roberts of WJET. If convicted, Arrington could face up to 635 years in prison and a fine of $7,750.00.
Mrs. Arrington is being represented by Attorney Leonard G. Ambrose III who states, " An indictment is nothing more that a statement of allegations returned by a grand jury. A grand jury consists generally of 20 people and when the evidence is presented all they hear is the government's version. Only 12 out of the 20 have to agree that something may have occurred."
Due to these federal charges against Sonya many individuals are speaking out such as former mayor of Erie candidate, Jon Waley, who is demanding over social media that she should resign. However, Arrington has no plans to step down from her role as Erie's City Council President. Ambrose says, "She's done a lot of good for this community and she'll continue to do more good." As of now City Council is waiting to see how everything plays out in the legal system before making that decision.
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