ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Police Accountability Board (PAB) Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds shared his story Tuesday, for the first time since being placed on administrative leave back in May.

Reynolds made his statement in a blog post titled “I Reported Sexual Harassment by My Boss. A Week Later, I Was Suspended.”

In the post, Reynolds details alleged sexual harassment against him by PAB Chair Shani Wilson. He says he was suspended one week after reporting the harassment to the board, and has never been given a reason for the suspension.

“I am proud of the work the PAB has done and has continued to do in my absence,” he writes. “However, I fear all this work will be undone if I do not tell my story.”

Reynolds’ appointment as PAB Executive Director was announced on October 16, 2020. In his blog post, he claims the harassment started six days later.

Reynolds says when Wilson learned he was bisexual, she called him a “unicorn” and told him she found him attractive. He claims she went to his house on the night of November 20, 2020, “attempted to get [him] inebriated,” and asked to sleep with him.

“When I rejected her repeated advances, Shani used the power she holds over me at the PAB to punish me,” Reynolds writes.

Reynolds claims Wilson “hugged and touched” him at work without his consent, spread rumors about him, and “ordered” him to end his romantic relationship with a woman in favor of dating men.

Reynolds says he did not publicly make these allegations at the time because Wilson was “politically connected.”

“My harasser is close friends with city councilmembers, county legislators, state legislators, city bureaucrats, and even some of my employees,” Reynolds writes. “I believed that, if I spoke out, Shani would use these connections to launch a campaign to discredit my story and end my career.”

Reynolds says he did tell his family, a therapist, and a friend about the alleged harassment as it occurred.

In his blog post, Reynolds claims his “breaking point” came when Wilson allegedly ordered him not to discipline an employee she had urged him to hire who was later “credibly accused of misconduct.”

“Most importantly, we were getting close to hiring an employee who would work directly with Shani,” Reynolds writes. “I worried that, if I did not speak up, someone I was tasked with protecting would be subject to the same harassment I had experienced.”

Reynolds says he told Wilson he would be reporting the alleged sexual harassment to the board “in keeping with the City’s sexual harassment and whistleblowing policies” on April 19, 2022. He says Wilson held a “secret” board meeting on April 28 to report Reynolds for “performance” issues.

Reynolds says Wilson held at least two secret meetings over the next week, of which there are no existing records.

According to his post, Reynolds met with the board on May 5 to report the sexual harassment allegations “and her inappropriate order directing [him] not to discipline her friend.” He also filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights.

Reynolds was suspended one week later. He says he has not been told why.

“The trauma of the harassment I experienced over the last two years has been compounded by the gaslighting and public humiliation I have been forced to endure these last few weeks,” Reynolds writes. “Worse yet, thanks to being outed without my permission, this has jeopardized my ability to navigate our biphobic world safely and on my own terms.”

The full blog post can be read here.

News 8 reached out to Shani Wilson, whose attorney, Beth Cordello, responded, saying, “It is our policy that we do not comment on ongoing investigations or matters that may lead to litigation so that the investigation can be conducted in an expedient and thorough manner.”

News 8 has reached out directly to Conor Dwyer Reynolds, and the Police Accountability Board. They have yet to respond.


This is a developing story. Check back for updates.