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Mayor defends hiring uncle, explains speeding
Rochester, N.Y. -- Its been a tough couple of weeks for newly-elected Mayor Lovely Warren. First she was criticized for hiring her uncle as part of her security detail. Now that same uncle was stopped for speeding while driving Warren home from the Governors State-of-the-State address in Albany last week.
Reggie Hill is a retired state trooper and Warrens uncle. He is also part of her new security detail. Warren said Hill was driving between 77 and 80 miles an hour. She disputed reports that he was going 97 miles an hour, when state police pulled him over. She also denies that he received special treatment because he is a retired trooper.
Warren said Hill explained to the police officer that he was used to doing security details for the governor, and thats why he was traveling faster than the speed limit.
Warren said the trooper told Hill: Well, you dont work for the Governor anymore so you need to slow down or next time you will get a ticket.
State Police said they have discretion when deciding whether to issue speeding tickets but do not condone anyone driving at excessive speeds.
Warren said she doesnt regret hiring her uncle, but does regret not being upfront with the public about why she was doing this. She said she has received threats and was worried for her safety. When questioned about why she hired her uncle instead of someone else, she said he was the best qualified for the job. She also admitted she did not report the threats to police.
Warren said it was always her intent for the hiring of her uncle to be temporary. She says the security positions would be advertised to the public in two weeks and the Director of Human Resources will hire the best people for the job.
When asked why she added positions that never existed before, Warren said it was necessary for her safety to have a security detail. She said it wouldve been more expensive to have Rochester Police provide that security, because of the overtime. Warren also said that the money was there to fill these positions. She said her office has a $40,000 surplus.