Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Is it a Conflict of Interest when Rochester, NY Mainstream Media News Reporters Are in Bed (Literally) with City Officials?

News 10NBC reporter Joangel Concepcion,
with Spencer Ash.
By Davy V.

When it was revealed that Spencer Ash, Rochester, NY Mayor Lovely Warren's appointment to lead the City's Department of Neighborhood and Business Development plead guilty last summer to charges that he was driving drunk after he crashed his vehicle, many questioned if Lovely Warren knew about the incident, and about Ash's conviction, before hiring him.

Warren quickly dismissed the incident as something that happened before she took office, and said she would not take any disciplinary action against Ash, who makes $109,000 a year.

In fact, Lovely Warren wouldn't even say if Ash notified her of the incident under full disclosure.

Concepcion and Ash
One Rochester, NY mainstream news channel who stayed as far away from the story, and did not say a peep about Ash, his drunk driving conviction, or questioned what Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren knew, was Rochester's NBC affiliate, News 10NBC.

And thanks to several folks who follow my work, and this blog, now we know why.

News 10NBC reporter Joangel Concepcion is in a relationship with Spencer Ash.

The photos on the right, which were sent to me by the sources I mentioned earlier, speak for themselves.

And as the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words."

And back to Spencer Ash, who was a lawyer for the City of Rochester when he crashed while driving drunk, court papers indicate that Ash became irate after the crash, which occurred around 2:25 a.m.July  6th, on Culver Rd. near Interstate 490.

In the court papers, Rochester, NY Police officer Albert Weech said that Ash "was irate and kept yelling about the damage to his vehicle."

Spencer Ash was driving his 2009 Mercedes Benz.

Officer Weech then writes that as Ash kept yelling, officer Weech says he noticed a strong smell of alcohol on his breath.

After taking a breathalyzer test, it showed that Ash had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .14.

Nearly twice the legal limit for DWI, which is .08.

The court papers also indicated that Ash was slurring his speech at the scene, had bloodshot eyes, and seemed to have a hard time maintaining balance while talking with officers.

Ash also failed other roadside sobriety tests which were administered at the scene.

On September 30th, Ash pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of driving with ability impaired (DWAI), which is a violation.

According to Rochester City Court records, Ash was sentenced to a one year conditional discharge, his drivers license was suspended for 90 days, and he was fined $300. 

There's still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding Spencer Ash.

Apart from the obvious question did Rochester, NY Mayor Lovely Warren, and did she know about Ash pleading guilty, there's also the question of why Ash's serious DWI charge, where he was almost twice over the legal limit, was reduced to a violation.

Well, Lovely Warren already said she did not know, and that she will not discipline Ash, but as to the second question, the following excerpt from one of the emails I received, may offer an answer.

"And i have no idea how he got his DWI plead down with that BAC level, his anger or that he was in an accident. But he is an attorney and has friends from the rochester black bar association who are in the DA's office and at least one former DA that worked with him at the city law department."

But the question I have asked for years, and am asking again is, is it a conflict of interest when Rochester's Corporate-America run mainstream news media are in bed, literally, with City government officials?

And, in this case, can Rochester's News 10NBC reporter Joangel Concepcion be trusted to report on stories relating to Rochester City officials?

Inquiring minds want to know.

And, in the words of the late, great, Rochester investigative reporter Al White, a truey fearless reporter, and one of my inspirations... 

We'll be watching.



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