After Monroe County Legislature nominates Julie Cianca as public defender, Lamar calls vote illegal

UPDATE: After the Monroe County Legislature voted overwhelmingly to approve a new county public defender, the legislature president called the vote illegal. 

The legislature appointed Rochester attorney Julie Cianca. However, Sabrina Lamar claims a group of rogue legislators didn’t follow the rules. The rules say an item has to pass in committee before the full legislature can take a vote. She says the 15 to 1 vote to appoint Cianca on Tuesday night should not stand.

That group of lawmakers says the president of the legislature does not have the power to thwart the will of the majority and says it’s time to stop the political games.

In the meantime, Lamar is consulting with attorneys. She had this to say about Monroe County Executive Adam Bello:

“The county executive is attempting to thwart the will of Rochester’s black community, which shows how little regard he has for black voices. The fact that Ms. Cianca, as an attorney, would consent to be appointed by this illegal process, proves that she is unfit for the position of public defender.”

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After nearly a year of not having a public defender here in Monroe County, one has been voted on by a majority of the county legislature.

That’s according to the Monroe County Democratic Caucus. In a special meeting Tuesday night, some legislators voted 15-1 in favor of nominating Julie Cianca to the position. But not everyone voted, and we’re working to find out if Cianca is in fact the public defender.

The position has been unfilled for 11 months. It’s been five months since a preferred candidate was identified.

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