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A week after making racially charged remarks on social media that prompted swift public outrage, Rochester City Council member Jose Peo on Monday took to Facebook to publicly apologize via live video.

Peo was joined by the Rev. Marlowe Washington, who contacted the council member after Peo’s remarks were widely circulated and made headlines and persuaded him to acknowledge his wrongdoing in a live video.

Communications Bureau, City of Rochester

Rochester City Council member Jose Peo is backpedaling on an incendiary Facebook post in which he called on black leaders to do a better job impressing the importance of obeying physical distancing recommendations to black residents.

The post, which was published on Sunday evening and has since been removed, was widely circulated and excoriated for what many perceived to be its lack of sensitivity at best, and at worst, a blatant display of racism.

File photos/CITY Newspaper

Charlotte residents received a letter recently from Mayor Lovely Warren accusing their newly-elected City Council member, Jose Peo, of lying to them about the process to develop the Port of Rochester and suggesting he wanted to steer the project to a preferred developer.

New year, new City Council

Jan 3, 2020
Gino Fanelli/CITY Newspaper

Rochester City Council started the new year by swearing in some fresh faces Thursday afternoon.

The packed ceremony at City Hall drew several notable Democratic elected officials, including Mayor Lovely Warren, freshly minted Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, and Assembly member Harry Bronson.

James Brown / WXXI News

The close Democratic primary for a seat on Rochester's City Council was settled Tuesday.

Candidate Jose Peo looked on as the votes were counted by hand at the Monroe County Board of Elections in Henrietta; he was ahead of designated candidate LaShana Boose by just 25 votes going into the absentee count and was confident he would win.

Provided photos

Monroe County Democratic Elections Commissioner Tom Ferrarese said he’s still counting ballots from Tuesday night’s primary races -- and will be until at least next Tuesday.

The combination of a low turnout and a close race means absentee ballots may matter more than usual. In the Democratic primary for the Northwest Rochester City Council seat, Jose Peo leads LaShana Boose by just 25 votes. 

“These are absentee ballots that were requested after we printed our poll books, for the most part,” said Ferrarese.