Legislature president agrees independent investigation into Flagler-Mitchell should be held but not yet | WHEC.com

Legislature president agrees independent investigation into Flagler-Mitchell should be held but not yet

Updated: January 28, 2021 05:23 PM
Created: January 28, 2021 11:22 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County Legislature President Joe Carbone announced Thursday he supports an independent investigation into allegations against fellow legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell but not until two other investigations are complete.

Lakaya Sinclair accused Flagler-Mitchell of sending her an explicit picture, though the legislator says the picture was intended for his wife and was sent by mistake.

In a statement, Carbone said in part:

“As President of the Legislature, my job is to ensure Ms. Sinclair's concerns are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated… and we have done just that. There are presently two ongoing investigations into this matter – a criminal investigation led by the District Attorney's Office and an ethical investigation led by the Board of Ethics.

We need to let these independent entities do their job and conduct thorough and impartial investigations. Anything less is an affront of the seriousness of the allegations.

Some have also called for an independent investigation led by the Legislature. I support an independent investigation, but not one that would interfere with either of the two ongoing investigations. Only once both ongoing investigations are concluded will we know whether a legislative-led independent investigation is warranted."

County Legislature Member Sabrina LaMar called on Carbone to launch an independent investigation on Wednesday. Last week, the Democratic Caucus sent a letter to Carbone calling on him to operate with transparency and integrity.

Carbone claims "partisan politics" have bled into the story, and says he hopes the truth can be sought through a fair, and unbiased process.

“If, as a result of these investigations, it is determined that Legislator Flagler-Mitchell committed criminal wrongdoing, then yes, I think he should resign," Carbone said. "At the end of the day, no one has the power to force a Legislator to resign, not the President and not any individual Legislator, only the voters hold that power."

The two current investigations are a criminal one by the District Attorney's Office, and an ethical one led by the Legislature's Board of Ethics.

"At the end of these investigations, depending on what is determined, we can follow through with something like that if it's warranted, but at this time, and I've talked to several members of the legal profession, it's not up to us to do it until these investigations have been completed," Carbone said.

Statement From Legislature ... by News10NBC

You can also view Carbone's full statement here.

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