Mayor Lovely Warren wants the public to believe I’m mentally ill because I have filed about 150 open records requests in recent months. She’s also lied about my conduct in a Facebook post attributed to her and shared by her associates.
Here’s the truth. I’ve filed open records requests for the deputy mayor’s schedule and travel records. Those records, which the city hasn’t disputed, show Alexander was not at City Hall 28 days in 25 weeks. They also show potential conflicts of interests. Our release of these records began an orchestrated attack on my character and my “frame of mind.”
I’ve also been examining city checkbook registries dating back to 2010. In addition, I have filed for records to a prospective project in the city.
This may seem excessive to most people, but this is how journalists and watchdog groups operate every day in the United States. This is what I’ve done for decades. As a politician, Warren knows this.
Warren’s unusual and false attacks are alarming in their defensiveness. If she has nothing to hide, she should welcome the open examination of the thousands of checks that have been written from the city treasury.
During our review, I’ve only contacted a few businesses several times for clarification, asking if the money they received from the city was grant money or expenditures. I’ve never contacted any churches. Contacting people to make sure I have the facts straight is responsible and appropriate.
We have found some items of interest and concern to the public, but we are doing due diligence before releasing any information.
I founded an organization, Rochester for All, as a vehicle to continue my work providing information to the tens of thousands of people who have depended on me to be their eyes and ears. I am an advocate for open government, transparency and accountability.
This attack on a private citizen and city taxpayer seeking information about her government, and doing it on behalf of the public, is deeply disturbing and suspicious.
Any citizen has the right to file open records requests. Any citizen has the right to question their government. Any citizen has the right to petition their government.
Warren is trying to pull the shades down on City Hall. Her conduct is an attempt to discourage any journalist or citizen from looking into her activities. By going after my credibility and integrity she is sending an ominous message to anyone who dares to question her administration. This is an assault on the First Amendment.
This is an unusual circumstance because I ran against Lovely Warren. But I’m not a candidate right now and I’m not running against her for mayor in the future. My concerns, however, are still valid. Furthermore, Rochester for All isn’t just looking into City Hall. None of the other agencies we have asked for open records are conducting themselves this way.
This is unprecedented rhetoric from the mayor of a major city. The level of vitriol raises only one conclusion. Either Warren hasn’t gotten over the election, or she’s scared of what we’ve found.