Monroe County Legislature

James Brown / WXXI News

Two elected officials have asked the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division to investigate police conduct during the Daniel Prude protests. 

Prude suffocated in Rochester Police custody in March and died a week later. 

Details about the incident were kept quiet until Prude's family came forward early this month. Police body camera footage shows Prude nude with a bag known as a spit shield on his head. Officers pinned him to the ground. 


The splintered Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature appointed City Councilmember Jackie Ortiz to serve as Democratic elections commissioner, effective immediately.

A group of nine Democrats, led by Legislator Yversha Roman, convened at 8 a.m. Thursday to make the appointment. The meeting was swift with no debate, other than a brief remark from Legislator John Baynes following the vote.

Spurned Democratic legislators form breakaway bloc

Aug 26, 2020
File Photo / CITY

Four Democratic Monroe County legislators announced Wednesday that they have formed their own caucus, effectively breaking away from the bulk of their party colleagues.

The group also submitted legislation seeking funding for their independent bloc, known as the Black and Asian Democratic Caucus, monies that would be drained from the Democratic caucus.

In a sign that their request may be successful, Legislature President Joe Carbone, a Republican, immediately accepted the measure for legislators to consider.

Monroe County Democratic legislators say they have ousted their leader

Aug 25, 2020
File Photo / CITY

Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature said Tuesday that they had voted to replace the head of their caucus, Minority Leader Vincent Felder, as festering tensions within the party reached an inflection point. 

But the intra-party friction only intensified when Felder claimed the vote was illegitimate and the president of the Legislature, saying he would not “pick sides” declined to recognize the purported leadership change.

Promotions at Board of Elections rile Democrats

Aug 23, 2020
Ryan Williamson / CITY

The interim Monroe County Democratic elections commissioner at the center of a rift that has divided her party promoted four staffers to new controversial positions in the Board of Elections over the past month as Democrats prepared to install her successor.

The promotions, approved by acting Democratic Elections Commissioner LaShana Boose, infuriated some party leaders and her presumed successor, who learned of them this week and cast them as an eleventh-hour effort by Boose to amass power within the board’s rank and file.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello wants to create an independent commission charged with drawing new boundary lines for the county's legislative districts. But, as reported by CITY Newspaper's Jeremy Moule, the measure is poised to be rejected by some legislators in both parties. Some say there is no evidence to support a claim that independent restricting has any effect on the impartiality of the process; they want to stick with the current system, where legislators form their own commission and work with the Board of Elections to draw the lines. But advocates for Bello's proposed commission say the independent approach does make the process more transparent and the outcome more fair.

Our guests debate the issue:


The Monroe County legislature voted on Tuesday night to rename the Greater Rochester International Airport, in honor of Frederick Douglass. The new name for the airport would be the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport.

In July, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said that his administration would begin working with the County Legislature, the Federal Aviation Administration, and airport stakeholders to study the name change.

CITY/File photo

Monroe County legislators on Tuesday put off voting on a long-awaited measure to confirm the appointment of a county Democratic elections commissioner at the request of the party's leadership.

Assistant Minority Leader Ernest Flagler-Mitchell, a Democrat representing northeast and northwest portions of Rochester, asked that the measure to appoint Jackie Ortiz as the elections commissioner be pulled pending the outcome of litigation regarding the position. 

Monroe County Democratic legislators eye ousting leader

Aug 7, 2020

A movement is afoot among Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature to oust the head of their caucus, Minority Leader Vince Felder, after less than eight months on the job.

The tenure of Felder, who assumed the leadership on Jan. 1, has been tumultuous by any measure, dominated by wrangling among Democratic legislators and county Democratic Party loyalists over the appointment of a new Board of Elections commissioner.

George Eastman Museum / CITY Newspaper

The Greater Rochester International Airport could soon become the Frederick Douglass - Greater Rochester International Airport under bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday.

The bill was sponsored by the Monroe County Legislature’s Democratic Minority Leader Vince Felder and Republican Legislator Karla Boyce, who is running for county clerk, and was to be taken up by committee later in the day.

If the measure is approved, it would go before the full Legislature next month.