ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) Anthony Bottom spent nearly a half-century in prison for his role in killing police officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini in New York City in 1971, amongst other charges. Last month, he moved to Brighton after release, and the County GOP Chairman Bill Napier asked District Attorney Sandra Doorley to look into charges he illegally registering to vote.
Bill Napier said last month Bottom registered to vote when he was ineligible during the 48 hours between his release from prison, and the registration deadline on October 9. Bottom was later charged, and could end up back in jail.
Reverend Lewis Stewart, President of the United Christian Leadership Ministry, and other community leaders, held a press conference Wednesday expressing their concerns over the matter.
Stewart says Bottom, who also goes by the name ‘Jaili Muntaquim’, simply wanted to exercise his right to vote, but did not actually end up voting. However, Stewart claims the District Attorney, after being ordered by Napier, investigated this and issued a warrant against Bottom with a charge of registering to vote anyway.
Stewart described Bottom as a family man, and deeply remorseful over his crimes nearly 50 years ago. Stewart says Napier did this for political grandstanding, and to stir up fear. Stewart says this registration fraud is a bogus charge in this instance and is asking that Napier be replaced as GOP Chair, and for the community to vote Doorely out.
“The Monroe County Republican chairman held a racially-motivated press conference, dripping with venom, ridiculously lacking in common sense and common decency. He has no shame. And then he had the audacity to order Sandra Doorley–notice to order Sandra Doorely– the County District Attorney to investigate this so called crime. And she complied,” says Stewart.
Former Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio says what felons can vote on parole, and what ones cannot, can be confusing at times.
“If you’re a felon and you’re not on parole, then you can definitely vote, you just need to register to vote after you’ve been convicted of a felony. If you are felon and you’re on parole, since this is something that’s being prosecuted now, please check with your parole officer before you try to register to vote, because I don’t want you to end up in a bad situation because you’re trying to be a contributing member of society, which is what we expect,” says Astacio.
In a statement from the District Attorney’s Office, Sandra Doorely said the following:
“I can assure this community that I do not answer to anyone except the residents of Monroe County. As the Monroe County District Attorney, when an accusation of criminal activity is brought to my office, I have an obligation to look into the claim. Rev. Stewart’s assertion that I take orders from outside individuals when it comes to fulfilling my duties as District Attorney is false, and frankly insulting.”District Attorney Sandra Doorley
GOP Chairman Bill Napier says he has no comment at this time.