State investigation finds ‘probable cause’ that suspended PAB chief was discriminated against by City of Rochester, former chair

Conor Dwyer Reynolds calls it a “huge validation.”

In a ruling Tuesday, the New York State Division of Human Rights determined there is “probable cause” that suspended Police Accountability Board Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds was discriminated against by the City of Rochester and former PAB chair Shani Wilson.

In May, just days before he was suspended with pay, Reynolds filed a complaint with the Division of Human Rights against the city and Wilson alleging he was sexually harassed by Wilson and retaliated against for speaking out.

Reynolds was suspended on May 13 for unspecified issues.

“I’ve been waiting for this for six months,” Reynolds told News10NBC chief investigative reporter Berkeley Brean. “This is clear evidence that it happened.”

In addition to the complaint with the NYS DHR, Reynolds sued the city for suspending him. His complaint alleged the city violated open meeting laws when they did. A court ruling did not reinstate Reynolds to his position at executive director.

Since May, more than half a dozen PAB staffers have been fired or quit. In the past month, the PAB’s heads of policy and oversight and community engagement have been fired.

PAB staffers wrote letters asking that there be a “firing freeze” and last week announced their intention to form a union.

The Rochester City Council has promised the results of its investigation into Reynolds will be complete by the end of October.

News10NBC reached out to the city and Wilson’s lawyer for comment. A city spokesperson deferred to City Council. Wilson resigned as PAB chair in June.