Rochester Mayor’s Security Chief Suspended For Speeding Twice On NYS Thruway
Monday, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren told reporters the media attention surrounding the head of personal security detail was not a distraction. Thursday, the man who’s been the center of controversy not only acknowledged the “disruption to City Hall business” he created, he did his best to take sole responsibility.
“I want to apologize to the citizens of Rochester, the New York State Police, Rochester City Council, the staff of City Hall and all concerned parties regarding my lack of judgment,” Reggie Hill wrote in a memo to Rochester’s Deputy Mayor Leonard Redon.
Hill’s “lack of judgment” came last week on the New York State Thruway while driving the mayor to and from the Governor’s State of State Address in Albany. In his apology letter, Hill seemed to contradict Warren who, earlier in the week, told the Rochester Media Hill was stopped on the way home from Albany and was not speeding on the way there.
“On the return trip, the vehicle was stopped for a second time. Again, I explained that I was driving a security detail – but this time the trooper verbally reprimanded me and told me to abide by the speed limit, and I complied,” Wrote Hill.
The trip became the focus of intense media scrutiny after the Albany Times Union reported Hill, who’s also Warren’s uncle, was stopped on the Thruway for going 97 miles per hour on the in the city owned SUV. It’s a speed Warren repeatedly disputed; explaining Hill was traveling 77 miles per hour.
Warren refused to answer follow up questions after subsequent media reports continued to suggest Hill was stopped twice and did exceed 90 miles per hour. Hill acknowledged he was speeding but did not give specifics.
“As a member of the Governor’s security detail, it had been our practice to travel at a rate above the prevailing speed of other travels for security reasons,” Hill wrote.
Hill also referenced “threats” to Warren over social media that he’s been monitoring. Warren said Monday this online chatter, which she described as racial and physical in nature, prompted her to hire the two-man security team.
While on the subject of social media, Hill took the opportunity to clear up what he called a new issue being raised.
“I confirm that I purchased a child safety seat for the vehicle with my personal funds (receipt available) since Mayor Warren’s daughter, Taylor, accompanies her to community and other events from time to time – most recently to the YWCA for Governor Cuomo’s holiday visit,” Hill wrote.
Hill is being suspended for a week without pay for the Thruway incidents, beginning January 19th. He also agreed to pay a fine of $50 for failing to make a complete stop before turning at a red light.
“I take full responsibility for this occurrence and regret any embarrassment that it has caused to Mayor Warren,” Hill added.
With an impending city Board of Ethics investigation into whether Warren’s hiring of this two-man security detail violated civil service requirements, or the city’s Anti-Nepotism Policy, it’s unlikely this “disruption,” as Hill put it, is going away anytime soon.
It appears there was some good news for the Warren Administration. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle is reporting the Civil Service Commission did formally authorize the two new security positions. These positions will be advertised but both Hill and Caesar Carbonell are expected to apply and be chosen.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Casey Bortnick on January 16, 2014 at 11:41 pm, and is filed under Ethics. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|