An intervention: Rochester City Council will decide what’s next for PAB

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In an open letter, sent to the community Friday, Rochester City Council called the Police Accountability Board (PAB) “Dysfunctional” and ordered it to make “Significant changes to its management”.

The council also vowed to “Take a look in the mirror and stop the chaos”. Council held a news conference explaining how it plans to move forward. Councilmembers are backing up the PAB in its decision to fire, now, former Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds and called on the board to make some serious changes.

When it comes to accountability, council says in hindsight it should have had better communication with the board.

“What was clear in the report, is that the infrastructure to support this effort was not there and it’s something we all have to evaluate,” Rochester City Council President Miguel Melendez said.

In this case, accountability is a two way street. In a letter signed by six city council members who voted for the PAB, says “We will fix what’s broken or build something better in its place”. 

“The report showed just how dysfunctional this body was without very deliberate and intentional coordination and cooperation with city council. I hope this report needs to be a wakeup call for the board, there are a lot of recommendations that the board implement,” City Council member Mitch Gruber said.

The letter comes two days after an investigative report into the board uncovered a culture of dysfunction and a lack of accountability. It was also one day after the board voted to terminate Dwyer Reynolds.

In response to the letter, Dwyer Reynolds released a statement to us saying “The PAB’s union issued a demand that I be reinstated as executive director. Who do people take more seriously: workers or politicians?”

Melendez says dysfunction started brewing because of poor “HR” within the board.

“The PAB has had its own HR, staff member that might have their own HR policies that are not in line with city polices. So there is a lot of cleanup with that.”

A timeline on when these “significant changes” will happen was unclear. President Melendez says it could take weeks.

See the full letter below:

Check out past coverage of the Police Accountability Board: