Some Rochester City Council members say they didn’t know a PAB member was put on leave
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Some Rochester City Council members say they didn’t know that a Police Accountability Board (PAB) staff member was put on leave. It’s the latest in the PAB saga. As we’ve been reporting, Michael Higgins, chief of policy and oversight was suspended by the board.
Since May, seven staff have either been fired or resigned, and two, of the most senior staff members of the PAB are on paid administrative leave. News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey went to a city council agenda meeting tonight to get some answers.
More of our coverage:
- PAB wants your input on police disciplinary “matrix” (Oct 4)
- Suspended director of Police Accountability Board loses lawsuit that aimed to reinstate him (Sept 22)
- 111 reports filed with Police Accountability Board in first 30 days (July 20)
- PAB Alliance voices concerns over nomination and budget (June 22)
- PAB Board Chair submits resignation (June 10)
- Police Accountability Board Chair accused of sexual harassment (June 7)
- Police Accountability Board will start taking complaints in June (May 27)
News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey: “Can you tell us anything that’s going on with the board?”
Rochester City Council President, Miguel Melendez: “No. Unfortunately. But, if there is news to be shared I would be happy to share it at a later time.”
President of Rochester City Council Miguel Melendez says he “learned from the news” that another PAB staff member was just put on administrative leave.
News10nbc interviewed Michael Higgins on Monday about the PAB’s new police disciplinary guidelines. Two days later, he was suspended.
In May, the PAB’s executive director Conor Dwyer Reynolds was suspended with pay. Since then, a total of seven staff have either been fired or resigned.
While we’re still working to find out why, during a meeting last month PAB chair Larry Knox says the investigation into Dwyer Reynolds is wrapping up. This is what he said September 15th: “I’ve heard from people in the community and even on the board and in council that there’s frustration that this has gone on for a while the investigation, but it is an independent investigation and we can’t speed it up or slow it down, but it’s going at its pace, but it’s closer to the end than it was when we last spoke.”
Fast forward to Thursday, during another PAB meeting, it was still the same answer.
“The executive director with this investigation, in regards to him that is still on going, obviously there are still legal matters we can’t talk much about, that the latest update that I can speak generally about is that we’re even closer, to a conclusion of that investigation,” Knox said.
Rochester City Councilman Jose Peo released a statement saying, “The entire PAB needs to be out on unpaid leave for the extravagant amount of taxpayer waste they have incurred, with not a single result of a single investigation, for over a year.”
In an email, a spokesperson for the PAB says they don’t comment on personnel matters. During Thursday’s meeting, Higgins being put on leave was not addressed.