News & Opinion » News

Larry Knox tapped as PAB chair

By

The Rochester Police Accountability Board on Monday tapped longtime labor union political organizer Larry Knox as its new chairperson.

Knox replaces Shani Wilson, the founding chair of the PAB, who announced her resignation Friday. Wilson, a physician assistant, has been accused of sexual harassment by suspended Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds. Reynolds, meanwhile, has had complaints filed against him alleging racial discrimination, mismanagement, and unethical hiring practices.

Both Wilson and Reynolds have denied the allegations against them.

Knox, a political organizer with the local chapter of the Service Employees International Union, is the board’s newest member, having joined the board in early May. Knox was appointed by the Rochester City Council to fill the seat left by Ida Perez, who stepped down from the board in March.

At a PAB meeting Monday evening, board members expressed urgency in filling the chair spot, given both the difficulties the PAB has seen in the past month and the looming date for the board to begin taking complaints of police misconduct from the public.

The board is expected to begin receiving complaints on June 20.



“There is no way on God’s green Earth that, less than two weeks from the opening of the agency, did we want to be here dealing with getting a new chairperson, that is not what we really wanted to do,” said boardmember Arlene Brown.

“At this point, we must move forward,” she went on. “We must show some stability. We can not be dipping and bobbing and weaving and second guessing.”

Knox was approved by a vote of five to zero, with board member Rickey Harvey abstaining. Harvey expressed concern over Knox’s newness, and opted to not vote on his appointment. Vice Chair Danielle Tucker, who declined to take on the role of chair, was absent from the meeting.

Knox’s appointment to chair is temporar. His role will need to go to another vote in July, when the term of the seat expires .

“My focus is helping the board work together better and helping my staff, who’s been working really hard, get ready for investigations and get ready for policy recommendations, and get ready for outreach to the community,” Knox said. “That’s my priority, and that’s the community’s priority.”

Knox’s position is an unpaid, volunteer position, as are all board seats. With the resignation of Wilson, the nine-person board is down two members. In March, Celia McIntosh resigned from the board. Her replacement, nominated by the Police Accountability Board Alliance, has yet to be announced.

Gino Fanelli is a CITY staff writer. He can be reached at (585) 775-9692 or gino@rochester-citynews.com.
champion-story-banner.gif

Tags