The city’s Ethics Committee will send out notices indicating that it will begin a “preliminary investigation” into Councilman Bob Doherty’s decision to join the owners of Kokopellis when they appeared in front of the New York State Liquor Authority.
Co-Chair John Cubit said the notices - which will go to Doherty, other Council members and Mayor Lou Rosamilia – are necessary because Doherty is an elected official. Once notice is given, the committee will determine if Doherty violated any laws by showing up in person to support Barry and Joe Glick.
Specifically, provided the preliminary investigation determines there is enough information to proceed with a full blown investigation, the committee will look into whether or not there was a conflict of interest in Doherty, as an elected representative, advocating for an entity that has business before the city in front of another governmental body. There are both state law and sections of city code that deal with conflict of interest, Cubit said.
Doherty chairs the Public Safety Committee. He hosted a forum last week following a protest march lead by Rev. Willie Bacote. It was well attended and emotionally charged as more than a dozen speakers complained about widespread police brutality was in the Collar City. Another meeting is slated for Wednesday when the Police Chief John Tedesco will speak as will other police supporters.
The Ethics Committee is co-chaired by Cubit, Rev. Eric Shaw and members include Kim Mazor, Norris Benbow, Larry Ellis, Corey Jamison and Ruth Bennett.
The committee is slated to meet on Feb. 20 but the notices can go out at any time, Cubit said. He was unclear if the committee will call a special meeting prior to that.
The Glicks were called to the SLA to give their side of the story regarding a melee at their club on Jan. 5. Police were called at 2:37 a.m. by two callers on 911 that stated there were “hundreds” of people fighting in the bar. Police entered the bar 10 minutes later and surveillance video shows the crowd gathering coats and leaving in an orderly fashion. Minutes later, as police were arresting Roshawon Donley surveillance and cell phone video show the 25-year-old getting hit with a nightstick and chaos ensued.
In all, police arrested four other people for a variety of infractions from harassment, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Eight officers were injured, six required treatment at the hospital.