Rochester for All is filing an ethics complaint about a book signing event held in July 2016 featuring Cedric Alexander, who became deputy mayor the following year.
The city purchased 100 copies of Alexander’s self-published book, The New Guardians: Policing in America’s Communities for the 21st Century.
According to records obtained through the Freedom of Information Law, the $1,566 purchase was made for a July 2016 book signing event at a restaurant. According to social media posts, the book was given away for free to attendees.
Communications show Warren approved of the purchase.
Warren violated the Code of Ethics prohibition on treating any person more favorably than the general public. The city does not regularly purchase large quantities of books or hold promotional events for any other authors.
Warren also violated the Code of Ethics provision forbidding the use of city-owned property for the convenience or profit of another person. The books were city-owned property, and benefited Alexander professionally and financially. Alexander revealed the purchase on his annual financial disclosure form.
“This book giveaway was really a giveaway to Cedric Alexander, a friend of Mayor Warren. The Code of Ethics is in place to prevent this very thing from happening,” Rochester for All Chairperson Rachel Barnhart said. “If Warren was truly interested in making sure the public read Alexander’s book, she would have it stocked in the library, where it remains unavailable.”
— Jeremy Cooney (@JeremyACooney) July 19, 2016