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President Loretta C. Scott “PAB has not investigated a single citizen complaint”

Updated: Oct 3, 2021

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Statement from City Council President Loretta C. Scott Regarding PAB Independence

On September 3rd, the City’s Deputy Corporation Counsel Patrick Beath received a letter from the Police Accountability Board’s legal representation, Shearman & Sterling, LLP, demanding the City recognize the PAB as an autonomous body, fully independent from the City Council. I will refrain from commenting further on the legalities of this matter until our Deputy Corporation Counsel issues his formal response.

As the authors of this legislation, we remain steadfast in our support of the PAB as a sub-unit of the City Council. Our intent has always been to ensure the PAB acts as a unit within City government, independent of the Rochester Police Department. As such, the PAB has always been held to the same set of standards and expectations as any other City department, bureau, or unit.

The referendum creating the PAB was approved by Rochesterians in November 2019, and to this day, the PAB has not investigated a single citizen complaint.

Nonetheless, Council has continuously demonstrated our support of the PAB and the advancement of its mission. We have dedicated $170,000 in legal fees defending the PAB’s disciplinary powers, utilized our own staff resources to ensure they operated smoothly prior to the Executive Director’s appointment, and continue to offer our guidance as they lay their foundation. In July, we unanimously passed legislation to hire a consultant firm to assist in developing their policies and procedures. City departments spanning from Information Technology, to the Department of Environmental Services, to Human Resources have given their full cooperation in seeing that the needs of the PAB were met.

We will continue to champion the PAB and work together as we navigate the difficulties of starting something so unprecedented. We look forward to the day the PAB opens their doors to the public and fully dedicates their time to fighting for a more transparent public safety system in Rochester.


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