LONSBERRY: The Saga of Adam Lovely McWarren

Maybe the reason Adam McFadden hates cops is because he’s a crook.

And maybe the ones who need the body cameras and the accountability board are him and the mayor and the political machine that put him in a position to rip off the poor for hisown benefit.

Maybe the vice president of the Rochester City Council, a longtime police critic and former chair of the Public Safety Committee, is nothing but a dirty thief.

That’s the conclusion one could reach after he was charged by the FBI yesterday with taking some $87,000 in taxpayer money that was supposed to provide housing for poor people.

And this alleged thievery began shortly after Mayor Lovely Warren purged the professionals at the Rochester Housing Authority and replaced them with her lackeys – two of whomhave now been charged with federal felonies by the United States attorney. She insisted that crony McFadden be made executive director of the massive RHA – though he had no qualifications whatsoever for the high-paying job – and the move was so egregious thatthe federal Housing and Urban Development department removed him.

But he was there long enough to – according to the feds – create a shell company to start shoveling money into his pocket.

Unasked question: I wonder how much McFadden contributed back to the mayor?

Side note: This is exactly why Lovely Warren should not be given mayoral control of the Rochester City School District. The current board already has patronage-for-idiots andcash-for-pals covered.

All the more galling in this matter is that Adam McFadden is a perpetual critic of the Rochester Police Department and its officers. He has been contemptuous of its interestsand sometimes mocking of its concerns. And he has been a leading proponent of an outside civilian board with the ability to investigate and fire police officers.

But he’s been kind of cozy with law enforcement lately, as he has in recent weeks made repeated quiet visits to the United States attorney’s office. Also, it’s interesting thatcharges against him weren’t brought until some four months after charges were brought against co-defendant George Moses (another Lovely Warren crony) on almost identical information.

What was going on over those 120 days?

We have recently learned that this same team of federal investigators had accused bribe-taking Assemblyman Joe Errigo wear a recording device in meetings with others prior tocharges being brought against him.

Did Adam McFadden do the same thing?

In the likelihood that he was asked to wear a wire, what did he say? You’d think it would take only one meeting to say, “No.” But McFadden was in and out of the feds offices repeatedly – withand without his lawyer – over a period of weeks.

You wonder if that makes some people nervous.

You wonder who the feds would have asked him to record.

OK, no, you don’t wonder. You know.

And you wonder if that makes her nervous.

And you wonder if anybody in Rochester politics has the self-awareness to contrast the way they have reacted to McFadden’s arrest with the way they reacted to a weatherman’s slip of the tongue.

The same mayor and City Council president who now talk about innocent until proven guilty in the face of 87,000 stolen dollars not long ago issued a statement demanding the firing of a localTV meteorologist who accidentally garbled a word to make it sound like a racial slur.

Blessed are the merciful for they shall – never mind, that doesn’t apply here.

It’s worth noting that these charges occur in the context of at least three criminal investigations currently looking at Rochester politicians. This one at the RHA, another looking at schoolreconstruction contracts, and a third that is targeted at Lovely Warren’s campaign finances.

That is neither good nor normal. It is, rather, a reflection of a local political culture focused on the belief that the rules don’t apply to some people, and that public service exists for personalenrichment.

But community attention is diverted from that by the damning of the cops and the pillorying of a weatherman, and that’s not an accident.

Which gets back to the side note.

The issue before Rochester and the state legislature right now is the mayor’s push to take over the perpetually troubled city school district. Given her record of cronyism andnepotism, she cannot be trusted with that massive pile of money and patronage. Whether she is involved in criminality or not, her tendency to appoint unqualified friends and relatives disqualifies her from lordship over the schools.

Especially now, as the community is trying to untangle the web of Adam Lovely McWarren.

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