Lawmaker Flagler-Mitchell says allegation of offering help for sex is 'not true' | WHEC.com

Lawmaker Flagler-Mitchell says allegation of offering help for sex is 'not true'

Berkeley Brean
Updated: June 10, 2021 07:27 PM
Created: June 10, 2021 07:20 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Thursday News10NBC learned about another complaint of inappropriate behavior against Monroe County lawmaker Ernest Flagler-Mitchell.

This brings the total number of women to 13

But in this latest case, the woman says Flagler-Mitchell offered to help her get her children back in exchange for sex.

The woman says she contacted Flagler-Mitchell for help with a child protective case late last summer. Within 24 hours, her complaint says the lawmaker offered her a deal: he'll help get her children back if she sleeps with him. 

The complaint was filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights on Monday.

In the handwritten statement, the woman says Ernest Flagler-Mitchell asked her "If I would consider being sexually active with him if he were to facilitate my children being returned to me." She writes her answer was "No." She goes on to write, at a meeting in October, two months later, at Flagler-Mitchell's office in the county office building, the woman says Flagler-Mitchell started "speaking sexually." 

The woman says when she asked to open the door and leave Flagler-Mitchell said "No, let's leave it closed." 

The woman writes she "recorded" the conversation. 

Linda Hasman, (D- Rochester, Brighton) Monroe County Legislator: "Ernest Flagler-Mitchell abused his office. It's that simple."

The complaint was talked about at a news conference of some democratic county lawmakers at the county office building Thursday. The press conference was a day after we told you about a district attorney's investigation report which chronicled 12 women who accused Flagler-Mitchell of inappropriate behavior including sending nude photos of himself. The DA's office did not charge Flagler-Mitchell with a crime. 

Rachel Barnhart, (D- Rochester) Monroe County Legislator: "Barricading a woman inside a Monroe County office, demanding sex in exchange for helping her with her CPS case - that's a crime and it should be investigated as such."

The district attorney's office says they're aware of the latest complaint and currently investigating it. 

At 4:49 p.m. Thursday, Flagler-Mitchell released a statement which said: "These allegations against me are not true. I have always been one to help people who call on me and I attempted to do so in this instance. Unfortunately, we were unable to resolve this individual's situation favorably and now she has launched false allegations against me. I have always been one to admit my shortcomings and today will be no different."

Ten minutes later, the president of the county legislature said Flagler-Mitchell should resign.

"We worked behind the scenes to encourage Legislator Flagler-Mitchell to resign in an effort to not further politicize the accounts of the brave individuals who came forward in this matter," Dr. Joe Carbone wrote. "After being unsuccessful in our attempts, we are today publicly calling for his resignation. Sexual harassment of any form should not be tolerated. These most recent allegations involving misconduct on county property are especially troubling and warrant resignation."

But the complaint was emailed to the president on Tuesday, hours before he and 19 other lawmakers voted not to punish Flagler-Mitchell. 

An email obtained by News10NBC shows the complaint alleging sex for a favor was sent by the state Division of Human Rights on Tuesday at 3:05 p.m. to county officials and President Carbone.

Four hours later, at the legislature meeting, democratic lawmaker Rachel Barnhart tried to include a motion to censure Flagler-Mitchell.
20 lawmakers, democrat and republican, voted no, including President Carbone. 

Clerk: "President Carbone?"

Dr. Carbone: "No."

Clerk: "President Carbone votes no."

There was no censure vote against Flagler-Mitchell Tuesday night. 

Brean: "If Flagler-Mitchell does not resign today or tomorrow or in the near future, what do you do?"

Barnhart, Legislator: "The least we can do is pass ethics reform. The least we can do is make a statement as a legislature that this behavior is not acceptable."


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