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Councilmember McFadden defends Mayor Warren
By: Alexis Arnold
Rochester, N.Y. - City Councilman Adam McFadden told 13WHAM News that threats made against Mayor Lovely Warren were real and he defended her actions of hiring her uncle, Reggie Hill and his friend, as a part of her security detail, before listing the positions publicly.
McFadden asked this question, So if you have a threat on your life, are you supposed to go through a three month process to protect yourself? Or do you make a decision, an executive decision?
McFadden said city council was onboard with that decision.
Everything was above board, McFadden said. We knew about her decision to hire, before she made the decision, many of us were in agreement with that because we knew the background of why she needed to do that.
But some residents question, whether Warren's hire violates the city's ethics code and anti -nepotism policy.
City resident Mary Coffey said, This nepotism is not good. I understand, I have children and I would love to help my relatives, but when you're in a position like this, you have to be very careful.
Warren addressed those concerns with the media Monday.
We do have a nepotism policy he doesn't report to me, he reports to the Deputy Mayor, Mayor Warren said.
In order to say she breached a code of ethics, one would have to prove a couple of things, which isn't the case that he's inexperienced or not qualified, which he is. Two, that there was some attempt to surpass someone in the system who was more qualified, which wasn't the case, McFadden said.
Others question Warren's safety, which was in the hands of a man pulled over for speeding driving her home.
New reports surfaced recently about Warrens uncle got out of a speeding ticket while driving the mayor home from Governor Cuomos State of the State address in Albany last week.
The Albany Times-Union reports Hill was stopped on the Thruway going 97 miles an hour, given a warning and let go.
But Warren disputes how fast he was going and denies he was given special treatment.
If he's supposed to be in charge of her security, I would certainly hope he's securing her well-being by not going as quickly as he was, city resident Bryce Miller said.
But despite the controversy, many residents say they want to see Warren succeed and support her and would like to get back to the task at hand -- improving the city.
I would like to see more focus shift into the neighborhoods instead of personnel issues downtown, Miller said.
The city council called for a board of ethics investigation into the hiring of the two individuals who comprise the Office of Executive Services.
Specifically, the Board will be asked to determine if the hiring was done in accordance with Civil Service Commission requirements and whether the hiring of Reggie Hill, the Mayors uncle, violates the citys Anti-Nepotism Policy.
The Board of Ethics has two empty seats and a member whose term has expired.
Until those seats are filled, the Board cant start their investigation.
The Board is expected to vote on those seats, January 23rd.
Below is a statement by Mayor Warren:
I would fully expect City Council to utilize the Board of Ethics for any matter that they determine is appropriate. It was under my leadership as President of Council that the Board of Ethics was reconvened, and members were put in place. I served on the board and appreciate the work that the board -- comprised of citizens of varying political backgrounds -- will do to ensure that the residents of Rochester are well-served, and their tax dollars are appropriately spent. Members of my administration and I will be available to answer any and all questions; and supply any information requested by the Board.