NY State Appellate Court clears the way for Police Accountability referendum in Rochester

If a decision by a panel of state Appellate Division justices stands, the city will have its referendum on a proposed Police Accountability Board.

On Thursday,  justices overturned a ruling by state Supreme Court Justice John Ark that allowed the county Board of Elections to put the referendum on city voters’ ballots, but blocked elections officials from counting the votes.

“The City Council is grateful for the speed with which the Court has issued their decision allowing for the Rochester electorate to vote on the Police Accountability Board Referendum this coming Election Day,” City Council President Loretta Scott said in a statement. “Today’s unanimous decision is a victory for democracy, no one’s voice should be silenced on this important issue.”

City Council approved legislation creating the Police Accountability Board in May, but because the proposed law removes some power from the mayor, state law requires a referendum. That was to be on the ballot in the November 5 election.