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PAB Former Executive Director Revives Sexual Harassment Claims

Conor Dwyer Reynolds (left). Shani Wilson (right)

In recent news, Conor Dwyer Reynolds, the former Executive Director of the Police Accountability Board (PAB), has brought forth a sexual harassment lawsuit against Shani Wilson, the board's former chair. This conflict has resurfaced after Dwyer Reynolds filed a lawsuit seeking monetary compensation and attorney's fees. The allegations made by Dwyer Reynolds include claims of sexual harassment and retaliation, which he detailed in an open letter published on Medium.

According to Dwyer Reynolds, the sexual harassment began soon after he was hired, with Wilson making inappropriate comments about his bisexuality and expressing attraction towards him. He further claims that Wilson showed up at his house late at night, attempted to intoxicate him, confessed her feelings, and propositioned him.

When he rejected her advances, Wilson allegedly abused her authority at the PAB to punish him. He alleged that Wilson’s behavior was inappropriate. He claimed that Wilson humiliated and belittled him at work, violated his personal boundaries by touching him without consent, divulged intimate details about the sex lives of mutual acquaintances, and spread rumors about his sexual preferences. Dwyer Reynolds claimed that he attempted to establish professional boundaries, but Wilson would threaten him for not reciprocating her romantic feelings while exploiting and distorting his sexual orientation.

Dwyer Reynolds explains that he chose not to speak out publicly about the harassment due to the potential consequences that victims often face when accusing individuals with political connections. Wilson maintains close relationships with influential figures in Rochester, including city council members, county legislators, state legislators, city officials, and even some of Dwyer Reynolds' own employees. She holds positions on various boards and task forces, granting her proximity to influential figures in the community. Dwyer Reynolds believed that if he were to speak out, Wilson would exploit these connections to discredit his story and jeopardize his career. However, he did confide in his family, report the harassment to his therapist, and share details with his best friend.

Dwyer Reynolds claimed his breaking point came when he witnessed Wilson's abuse of power extending beyond him, resulting in the resignation of two crucial Board members. Additionally, Wilson instructed him not to discipline an employee who had been credibly accused of misconduct, despite previously urging him to hire and promote this individual. Dwyer Reynolds alleged that when he refused to comply with this unethical directive, Wilson threatened to report him to the Board.

However, the outside law firm retained to investigate Dwyer Reynolds' claims determined he repeatedly disregarded City of Rochester policies, practices, and directives regarding the handling of confidential information and documents, the claims of sexual harassment and retaliation against former Chairwoman Shani Wilson were not substantiated, claims of retaliation, hostile work environment, discrimination and other alleged policy violations by Dwyer Reynolds could not be substantiated, claims of sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination made by and against other PAB employees could not be substantiated, Dwyer Reynolds is unlikely to rectify his behaviors if returned to his position and his past violations will profoundly impact his continued tenure at the PAB and Dwyer Reynolds exhibited during his active tenure, and continues to demonstrate, poor leadership and inappropriate behaviors that make him unsuitable to serve as Executive Director of the PAB. Dwyer Reynolds was subsequently terminated a short time later.

According to his LinkedIn page, Conor Dwyer Reynolds is currently an Executive Assistant & Counsel to the Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.


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