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Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Suit Filed Against Rochester and City Officials by Former Executive Director of Rochester Police Accountability Board

Wigdor LLP, along with Schnitter, Ciccarelli & Mills, represent Conor Dwyer Reynolds, the former Executive Director of the Rochester Police Accountability Board (PAB).  As described in detail in the 100+ page Complaint, only days after being hired, Mr. Reynolds’ supervisor – Defendant Shani Wilson – began making unwanted and documented sexual advances.  Mr. Reynolds refused to give in to these sexual advances, and, as a result, was subjected to additional graphic sexual remarks, inappropriate sexual contact, cruel rumors and jokes, exclusion from work functions, orders to stop having sex with women, and pressure to have sex with men.  After Mr. Reynolds complained about this unlawful harassment, the City, through the acts of various city officials and employees, subjected Mr. Reynolds to baseless complaints, illegal orders to remain silent, an unjustified suspension, the public leak of his personnel file, defamation, and a termination premised on obviously pretextual grounds.  Simply put, Mr. Reynolds was forced to pay a “heavy price” for “cast[ing] aspersions” on his powerful boss, who was a “best friend” of countless City officials.

The City of Rochester has admitted that much of this behavior was “clearly inappropriate” and the New York State Division of Human Rights has determined, not once, but twice, that there is probably cause to believe that Mr. Reynolds’ rights were violated.  Yet, as alleged, to this day Mr. Reynolds’ claims have gone unaddressed, and the perpetrators of this abhorrent behavior continue to be protected by many of the city’s most powerful individuals, including various city council members and other city officials.  The Complaint is long – but that is only because the breadth of alleged unlawful conduct by powerful city figures and their lawyers is expansive, to say the least – and compelling.  

We encourage you to read the allegations in here.

On the record statement of Michael J. Willemin, Partner, Wigdor LLP, and Ryan J. Mills, Partner, Schnitter, Ciccarelli & Mills, PLLC:

“The irony of this matter is that the Police Accountability Board was formed out of a purported desire on the part of city officials to implement a balanced and impartial process for holding members of the police department accountable for misbehavior.  As it turns out, however, the city has ultimately proven itself to be incapable of holding its own high ranking employees and public and elected officials accountable for the egregious acts of sexual harassment and retaliation alleged in Mr. Reynold’s Complaint.  Given this apparent inability or unwillingness, we intend to use this action as a vehicle to hold the city accountable for its misbehavior.”