Rochester, N.Y. (WROC)- Legislation for the Police Accountability Board (PAB) passed overwhelmingly with 75 percent of the vote, but the future of the PAB could still be in jeopardy as Rochester’s police union is still trying to make a case in court against the board.
Rochester Police Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo told news8 he isn’t surprised the police accountability board was approved by voters.
He said the union isn’t against change, but there are still parts of the legislation they believe are illegal. Mazzeo says the union will challenge it in court.
“There are parts of it that are in our collective bargaining agreement, which by the legislation itself, takes that away from us,” said Mazzeo.
When asked where the union stands legally, Mazzeo said they have already filed the paperwork and, “The merits of the case haven’t been determined by the courts. And that still has to be issued.”
A local legal analysist looked at the legislation to check the union’s claims.
“The real controversy comes from the fact that the police wish to say that they must maintain control over disciplinary actions based on their collective bargaining agreement. And the other side of that is that the argument is that the local law can legally change that part of the charter and allow the formation of this review board,” said Robert Brenna, law analysist, Brenna Boyce PLLC.
Supporters of the PAB, including the board alliance and city council, say they are ready to move forward and deal with what challenges come next.
“We have no further worries about that, None at all. We have the victory now and we’ll continue to have the victory,” said Markeisha Jackson, a member of the PAB alliance.
“We’re gonna get to work and we’ll do what we need to do in order to implement this so we’re not looking at additional legal challenges but we’ll do what we need to do,” said Loretta Scott, city council president.
Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter released this statement on the PAB;
According to the city council president, the next step for the PAB is to find members from the community to be trained to serve on the board.
Nine people will be appointed and applications are available now.
The full legislation can be found below.