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City leaders oppose Assembly bill for school upgrades

Rochester Business Journal
June 16, 2014

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and City Council President Loretta Scott do not support a state Assembly bill authorizing $435 million for the second phase of upgrades at the Rochester City School District.

The bill was composed without sufficient safeguards to protect taxpayer dollars and the integrity of the Schools Facilities Modernization Program undertaken by the Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board, Warren and Scott explain in a letter to local representatives of the state Legislature.

The city is concerned with how the first phase of the program was implemented, how funds were handled and how decisions were made, and that timetables were not met, the letter states.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating those activities, Warren and Scott state in the letter to Assemblymen David Gantt, D-Rochester, Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, and Harry Bronson, D-Rochester, and state Senators Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Joseph Robach, R-Greece, Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit, and Michael Ranzenhofer, R-Amherst.

“Authorization for Phase II of the FMP should not advance without improving oversight of activities, criminal sanctions for providing falsified documents to the RJSCB and monetary sanctions for noncompliance with the laws and regulations,” Warren and Scott state.

The city supports the improvement of school facilities but opposes the Assembly bill because it does not protect public money and the modernization project from waste, fraud and abuse, officials said.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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