PAB holds emergency meeting Thursday to address allegations against members

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Police Accountability Board held an emergency meeting to address a number of allegations about current and former members.

PAB Chair Larry Knox started the meeting by offering his thoughts on the accusations that acting director Duwaine Bascoe was impaired at a recent meeting.

PAB spoke for about five minutes and then went behind closed doors in executive session. That lasted about four hours, and then they came back and adjourned without shedding anymore light on the controversies.

“For perspective, I was at that meeting,” Knox said. “It could have gone a lot better and our acting manager I think and believe he pushed himself to go to a meeting he shouldn’t have because of health reasons.”

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First on the agenda for PAB’s chair was to back up Bascoe, one of its senior members.

“We often push ourselves more than we should and it affects performance and it ended up with assumptions made about what was going on with his health, which he spoke about in more detail,” Knox said.

In that statement, he says he suffers from migraines and has special glasses to help with them.

He goes on to say: “While this condition is manageable, we all have good and bad days, and it’s unfortunate that there are people who would use your bad days to profit for themselves. There is no place in the PAB for these long-held racial tropes of Black men being high or drunk on the job.”

We got that statement an hour before City Council President Miguel Melendez finally spoke publicly about the hot water the board is in.

“Upon receiving the report, the Rochester City Council will digest the recommendations and take action to take accountability to this troubled agency,” Melendez said. “In addition to that report under the leadership of Council we will develop a community engagement process to give Rochester’s residents a voice on how we move forward from here.”

Melendez would not comment on any personnel matters, including the AG investigation Duwaine Bascoe called for, saying he’s threatening to sue Mike Higgins and Conor Dwyer Renyolds for defamation. He would not comment on what would happen if the dysfunction continues. He also wouldn’t comment on the investigation into Dwyer Reynolds.

“We are doing our due diligence to right the ship,” Melendez added. “It will take time. The mess is bigger than we thought.”

Melendez said firmly that all personnel investigations would be completed by Oct. 31. He says critical public input will also be a factor in the fate of the board.