December 14, 2018

Funk ‘N Waffles Closed. What Happens to $27k City Grant?

Author: Rachel Barnhart When Funk ‘N Waffles closed its Rochester location, city taxpayers may have lost $27,617.23 in grant money given to the restaurant. The grant was awarded in October 2017, about five months after it opened at the former Water Street Music Hall site. The restaurant closed last month, blaming poor location and cost of operating the large space. …

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December 10, 2018

Yes, Campaign Finance Laws Matter

Author: Rachel Barnhart Rochesterians learned last week that the Monroe County District Attorney is investigating Mayor Lovely Warren’s campaign finance activities. James Sheppard and I, her opponents in the 2017 mayoral race, filed complaints that her political action committee (PAC) functioned as a second campaign account. We allege she used the PAC as a vehicle to raise and spend more …

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November 21, 2018

Rochester Settled High-Profile Cases Involving Alleged Police Misconduct

Author: Rachel Barnhart Rochester for All discovered several settlements paid by the city while examining the city checkbook registry. We previously reported on the settlements to Rickey Bryant and Dudley Scott. Here are other settlements that have not been made public until now. Hayden Blackman – $300,000 Hayden Blackman was shot and killed by police in 2011. Family members had …

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November 19, 2018

City Gave $750,000 Settlement to Man Claiming Police Blinded Him in One Eye

Author: Rachel Barnhart The city quietly paid $750,000 to a man who claimed an assault by police officers blinded him in one eye. The secret payment to Dudley Scott is revealed in the city’s checkbook registry obtained by Rochester for All through an open records request. The February check settling a lawsuit filed by Scott was made out to the …

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November 16, 2018

City Paid Rickey Bryant $360,000

Author: Rachel Barnhart Rickey Bryant, the teenager who claimed police broke his eye socket in a case of mistaken identity, received a $360,000 settlement from the City of Rochester. That’s according to the city checkbook registry, which shows a payment to the city insurance company on January 5. Rochester for All obtained the registry through the Freedom of Information Law. …

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November 16, 2018

City Loaning Riverside Hotel Money for Elevators

Author: Rachel Barnhart The owners of Riverside Hotel are spending $750,000 to upgrade and fix elevators at the facility. That’s according to minutes from a May 23 meeting of the Rochester Economic Development Corporation (REDCO). The REDCO board approved loaning the owners, 120 EMS Management, LLC $250,000. The work is almost complete, according to one of the owners, David Christa. …

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November 15, 2018

City Denies Appeal for Information on Officials’ Outside Income

Author: Rachel Barnhart The City of Rochester denied our appeal for the sources of outside income for elected officials and the deputy mayor. The sources of income were redacted for many officials on the annual financial disclosure forms we obtained through open records. The city claimed revealing the sources of outside income would “constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” …

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November 9, 2018

Robach and Funke Have a Choice to Make

Author: Rachel Barnhart The Democrats now control the state senate, leaving Republican state senators in a tough spot. They won’t be at the table during the 2022 redistricting process, and some of them will inevitably be drawn out of office. The GOP drew favorable lines for their members in 2012, which resulted in Rochester, a heavily-Democratic city, being represented by …

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November 8, 2018

Greenlight’s Former Backers Included Well-Known Rochester Businessmen

Author: Rachel Barnhart Greenlight Networks announced in April that billionaire Thomas B. Golisano’s Grand Oaks LLC would acquire the company. Before the sale, Greenlight was secretly-backed by several high-profile Rochester businessman who sued to block the transaction. The ownership group included developer Robert C. Morgan, Conifer Development founder Richard Crossed, Genesee Regional Bank founder E. Phillip Saunders, Kenyon Capital Holdings …

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November 2, 2018

City Won’t Release Lake Ave. Appraisals

The City of Rochester has denied our open records requests for the appraisals of 1540 and 1560 Lake Avenue. City Council recently approved purchasing the property for $2.3 million to build a police station and neighborhood service center. Council legislation indicated the land was appraised for $1.5 million before cleanup of contaminants. The legislation also said it would be worth …

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