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LeBron Responds to Vasquez-Simmons Regarding Staybridge Rejection

Beatriz LeBron (VP of RCSD Board and Executive Director of Father Tracy Advocacy Center) and Mercedes Vasques-Simmons (Monroe County Legislator)

Beatriz LeBron, the vice president of the Rochester City School Board and the executive director of the Father Tracy Advocacy Center, sharply criticized Monroe County Legislator Mercedes Vasquez-Simmons for rejecting Staybridge Services as the fiscal sponsor of the Neighborhood Collaborative Project (NCP).

In a recent vote, lawmakers voted 7-5 against a proposed $6 million contract with Starbridge Services, which aimed to assume the role of the NCP's fiscal sponsor.

The original fiduciary, Community Resource Collaboratives (CRC), was ousted after an investigation revealed mismanagement of funds. Consequently, organizations are now scrambling to find a qualified fiduciary to continue their operations.

One of the affected organizations, the Father Tracy Advocacy Center, has been accused of misconduct. Vasquez-Simmons and Rachel Barnhart alleged that LeBron paid herself nearly $4,000 to serve as a vocational trainer.

In response, LeBron defended herself on Facebook, branding Vasquez-Simmons a liar and accusing her of engaging in fraudulent activities within an organization. LeBron claimed to have demanded an investigation into Vasquez-Simmons' conduct during an April 9th County Meeting, where she purportedly referred to her as a "Pendeja" — a derogatory term — for making faces while she spoke.

LeBron suggested that Vasquez-Simmons' allegations of misconduct might be retaliatory. She stressed that her actions were recorded and dared Vasquez-Simmons to press charges if she genuinely felt threatened.

With over 300 witnesses present at the meeting, LeBron argued that her remarks were part of the public record and not fabricated. She underscored the importance of addressing community issues and expressed frustration over the lack of progress, citing the failed RGE study as another example of inaction. LeBron concluded by urging accountability and transparency in local governance, calling for an end to deceptive practices and personal attacks.

Monroe County acknowledged the repercussions of the rejection on the community. In a statement regarding the program's future, it said:

"Tonight, the Ways and Means Committee of the Monroe County Legislature voted down the contract for Starbridge Services to serve as the administrator for the Neighborhood Collaborative Project. This leaves the project suspended and further deprives our community's most vulnerable citizens of essential support and services. The Bello Administration remains committed to the goals of this project and recognizes the significant need in our community. Prioritizing politics over people is regrettably becoming all too common, and tonight's decision is another instance of it. This administration will persist in prioritizing the legitimate and immediate needs of our most vulnerable citizens."


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