Rochester Rundown: Week of June 11, 2021

Rochester Rundown

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Catch up on the last week in local news, in just a few minutes!

Rochester Rundown, a new digital exclusive brought to you by News 8 WROC, recaps the past week’s top stories with everything you need to know, or might have missed.

Facing scandal, Flagler-Mitchell ‘temporarily’ steps down from caucus leadership position

Monroe County Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell (D-29) announced Friday that he would be “temporarily stepping down” from his leadership position with the Black and Asian Democratic Caucus on the legislature.

“I have decided to temporarily step down as Leader of the Black and Asian Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature in order to better deal with personal matters,” Flagler-Mitchell said in a statement Friday morning. “During my time away as Leader, Calvin Lee, Jr. will serve as Acting Leader. Please respect my family’s privacy at this time.”

The legislator is facing mounting calls for his resignation after 13 women have come forward with accounts of Flagler-Mitchell engaging with them in conversations that were sexual in nature.

Some women reported unwanted sexual advances, and others reporting consensual relations where the legislator provided money or paid bills. 

Last week the a Monroe County ethics board investigation found that Flagler-Mitchell did violate the county’s code of ethics.

Last month, the Monroe County District Attorney’s office announced they would not file criminal charges regarding the inappropriate photo investigation.

Flagler-Mitchell is facing primary challenger William Burgess on June 22.

Rochester police officers involved in Friday’s fatal shootout identified

Officials from the New York Attorney General’s office identified two officers from the Rochester Police Department who were involved in a fatal shooting Friday.

According to RPD officials Tuesday, Rochester resident Timothy Flowers was killed after a lengthy pursuit ended with an exchange of gunfire in a city neighborhood.

According to the office of the attorney general, Samuel Giancursio and Michael Bennett were identified Wednesday as the officers involved in the shooting.

In a press conference early Saturday morning, Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said a SWAT team was tracking Flowers when he opened fire as they tried to take him into custody. He was shot by police and pronounced dead at the hospital.

The SWAT team was attempting to take Flowers into custody in connection to a triple shooting that occurred on Sumner Park on May 10, police said.

It is alleged during that incident, Flowers fired at least 14 gunshots from a 9mm handgun, at close range, into a vehicle occupied by five victims.

Three victims in the vehicle were struck, two suffered non-life threatening injuries. The third victim is paralyzed from the neck down. At least one of the gunshots allegedly fired by Flowers also shattered the window of a nearby restaurant that was occupied by at least one individual.

Boyfriend accused in gruesome Irondequoit death waives extradition, will return to New York

Seth Larson, the man accused of murdering Lisa Shuler, attended an extradition hearing on Tuesday.

The hearing took place in Lewis County, West Virginia, where Larson was found last week after a 10 day search following Shuler’s death.

Larson appeared by video from the Central Regional Jail where he’s currently being held, according to reporting from WBOY, our affiliate in Clarksville, West Virginia.

Larson waived his extradition which means he will return to New York. Police have 15 days to pick him from West Virginia and a status hearing was scheduled for July 8 in case Larson isn’t returned to New York within that 15-day window.

Police officials say last week that Larson will be charged with murder in the second degree, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence.

Mayor Warren’s husband Timothy Granison, 5 others face federal drug charges

Six Rochester men, including Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren’s husband, are now facing federal drug charges.

The six men have been charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, at least 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, and at least 500 grams or more of cocaine. The charges carry a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison, as well as a $10,000,000 fine. Named in the complaint are:

  • Jason Siplin, 44
  • Jason Siplin, 27
  • Ernest Gamble, 19
  • Lytrice Jackson 31
  • Timothy Granison, 42
  • Dkeidron Dublin, 39

According to officials, Dublin is also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, which carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of life, which must be served consecutive to any penalty imposed on the drug conspiracy charge. 

According to the criminal complaint, the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (GRANET) had been investigating a drug trafficking organization led by Jason Siplin. The investigation revealed that since at least August 2020, the drug trafficking organization was distributing large quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine in the City of Rochester and the surrounding areas.

‘Unacceptable’: Penfield Central School District condemns board meeting confrontation

The Penfield Central School District is calling the heated encounter at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night “unacceptable.”

After a public comment section at the meeting, a fiery exchange between parents and a board member took place. Video shows two parents jump on a stage to confront a William Yaeger, a board member, after he used profane language towards one of them. 

The president of the Board, Mark Elledge, said in a statement Wednesday, “On behalf of the board, I want to publicly acknowledge that Mr. Yaeger’s behavior was completely inappropriate. As a board, it is our job to listen and treat our community with respect.”

The release went on to say that the District, in turn, is asking parents and those at board meetings to also present comments and concerns in a peaceful manner and treat board members with respect. 

Dr. Mendoza: 97.7% of local COVID infections since March 1 were unvaccinated people

The vast majority of coronavirus infections since the beginning of March in Monroe County have been in people who have not been vaccinated, Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County’s public health commissioner, shared in a tweet.

“97.7% of the positive cases since 3/1 were in people who report NOT having been vaccinated appropriately against COVID,” Mendoza tweeted.

Many of the cases, the public health commissioner added, were in children who were ineligible for a vaccine at the time.

Dr. Nana Bennett, Finger Lakes Vaccine Hub leader, stressed the importance of continuing to roll out the vaccine.

“We really would like to see them get vaccinated, reduce our numbers to the point where we have no disease in our community,” Bennett told News 8.

Cases in Monroe County are trending down; just 33 cases were reported by the county Wednesday.

Bills won’t be coming to Rochester for camp again this summer

 In what may perhaps be the last sports cancellation caused by COVID-19 (fingers crossed), the Bills will not be holding their training at St. John Fisher College for a second consecutive summer.

The team issued the following statement on Monday afternoon:

The Buffalo Bills today announced they will hold their 2021 training camp at the ADPRO Training Center in Orchard Park, NY.

The Bills informed St. John Fisher of their intentions over the weekend and appreciate their efforts to try to accommodate the Bills this summer. However, due to the complexities of the NFL’s current COVID-19 health protocols in place, the team decided to stay in Orchard Park for a second consecutive summer.

Bills training camp is slated to begin in late July. Exact days and times of practice will be announced at a later date.

The move was strongly hinted by Sean McDermott when the head coach spoke with media before his team began their OTA practices. McDermott said he thought holding camp in Rochester would be a “heavy lift”.

That’s it for this week, we’ll see you next time on Rochester Rundown!

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