City Council hires outside counsel, creates Select Committee on PAB, freezes hiring & spending

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester City Council Thursday passed a “3-Point Accountability Plan” for the Police Accountability Board (PAB).

This comes after its president was put on administrative leave last week. The PAB itself did not give a reason why Conor Dwyer Reynolds was put on leave, but Rochester City Council President Miguel Meléndez said in a statement that there had been "a number of Human Resource related complaints that have emerged in recent days." He said it is larger than one person.

What those complaints alleged, has not been specified.

Under the City Council’s plan, Taren Greenidge, Esq. from the Law Firm of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP was hired to investigate all of the allegations and then present the investigation’s findings as well as an action plan to address and correct any problems at the PAB.

The Council also created a Select Committee on the PAB, which is tasked with receiving the report from the outside counsel and ensuring the report’s recommendations are implemented.

Finally, it put a hiring & spending freeze on the PAB until the process is finished.

The Council said membership of the Select Committee on the PAB will be announced "in the near future".

Meléndez Thursday night promised the investigation’s outcomes will be made public and will be "as transparent as possible" with the exception of sensitive personal information.

"The council created this board and we’re responsible for oversights on its budgets," Meléndez said. "But we are not the PAB’s HR department and we do not get into the weeds on personnel issues […] it is imperative that an independent outside entity take on the task of investigating all allegations."

Rochester voters approved the creation of the PAB back in 2019. Soon after its creation, its power to discipline officers was stripped due to stipulations in RPD officers’ union agreement. Efforts were made to appeal the decision, but the decision has been upheld.

Since its creation, it has not investigated any cases of alleged police misconduct, citing a lack of employees.