ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — LaKaya Sinclair is the young woman who first came forward late last year when she says a picture was sent to her by County Legislator Ernest-Flagler Mitchell. That photo she says featured Mitchell’s private regions. She asked that the legislator resign, something he did not do, even as more women made claims of inappropriate conduct.
Sinclair said when she first stepped forward after receiving explicit texts from Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell, the bullying and pushback was something she’s never experienced.
“It’s been … horrible,” she says.
But, Sinclair says many others have called her ‘brave and courageous’ in all this. She feels she was just doing what was right. After she brought these concerns to light, 13 other women came forward.
“I’m glad I did what I did because the community did what they had to do as voters,” she says.
Those voters, electing William Burgess as their candidate over Mitchell in the 29th District. Sinclair says for an elected official to text unwanted explicit photos is unacceptable.
“As a community leader, when I think of Mr. Flagler specifically, he just doesn’t have the ethics or the morals, the respect for the majority, especially women. So you don’t deserve power,” she says.
Sinclair also said Legislator Vince Felder supporting Mitchell through all this, might have hurt him election night. Felder lost to Mercedes Simmons in the District 22 primary.
“If that’s your friend, and you were a real friend, you should have said ‘hey dude what you did was wrong,” she says.
Sinclair says for all the women out there who might be on the receiving end of unwanted sexual advances, especially from public officials, speak your truth and be fearless.
“Don’t be afraid of it, never think you’re wrong, you’re never wrong in these kinds of situations. Stand up for yourself. Be confident in yourself. Be true to yourself,” she says.