ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Shani Wilson has resigned as chair of the Rochester Police Accountability Board amid allegations of retaliation and sexual harassment.

PAB Executive Director Conor Dwyer Reynolds, who is currently on administrative leave, published an essay online earlier this week, claiming Wilson sexually harassed him from the start of his service with the board in 2020. After reporting the alleged harassment, Reynolds claims Wilson launched a campaign to discredit him and ruin his reputation.

Reynolds has been on leave since mid-May.

In a statement, Wilson says she maintains the accusations against her are false but is stepping down because it's in the best interest of the PAB:

"After serving as chairperson for the past two years, I am resigning from the Police Accountability Board.

During that time, we built an agency and hired a dedicated staff despite funding obstacles and institutional obstruction. We took an important concept, demand for safety and accountability, and turned it into a community-led organization. We created something that will serve Rochester for years to come.

Over the last two months, however, it has become clear the agency is in under threat. Staff raised serious and valid concerns about executive leadership and management, and the board immediately took action. At the same time, these issues came to light, allegations were made against me. While I maintain that the accusations against me are false, I recognize that the best thing for this organization, the residents of this city, and my wellness and safety is that I resign.

I thank the Rochester community for giving me this amazing opportunity to serve. I devoted countless hours to the PAB at great personal cost. Despite its rocky start, I believe in the mission of the PAB and implore the community to support the PAB as it opens its doors to give Rochester residents what they need – a say in how they are policed. I strongly hope the PAB remains community-led because it is the community’s design. I believe the PAB, with the right expertise and support at the executive level, will serve the public well."

A special meeting will be held on Monday to identify a new board chair.