Sherry Walker-Cowart starts as the interim executive director of PAB on Friday

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Sherry Walker-Cowart will start her new role on Friday as the Police Accountability Board’s new interim executive director.

She was formerly the head of the Center for Dispute Settlement, which oversaw the Civilian Review Board. The vote to appoint Walker-Cowart was unanimous.

“One thing that’s really important as we go forward is that the community is looking at us right now and we have new leadership,” Police Accountability Board Chair Larry Knox said. “And we need to show that we can do better than we’ve done.”

The board says it will begin the search for a permanent executive director next year.

Walker-Cowart brings more than 20 years of management experience to the PAB. In addition to her time with the center for dispute settlement, she served as the executive director of Rochester’s Traffic Violations Bureau.

Walker-Cowart worked within the Office of Public Integrity and led the Community Place of Greater Rochester.

After the selection, the PAB Workers United wrote on Twitter:

“PAB Workers United has not been included in the selection or vetting process of this candidate, and is dismayed by the severe lack of transparency involved in the Board’s selection. Two months ago, the non-management staff of the agency requested to be directly involved in the appointment of any new executive director. Instead, a candidate has been identified through an hurried and opaque procedure, and may well be appointed this evening in a process that excludes the voice of the Agency’s workers.”

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