Charges dropped against tenant leader

Developer said Ryan Acuff disrupted a private event and refused requests to leave

TRD New York /
Nov.November 11, 2019 03:45 PM
E.L. Tower at 500 South Avenue (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

E.L. Tower at 500 South Avenue (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

Charges have been dropped in a Rochester case against a tenant organizer who was arrested for trespassing.

The case was dismissed by Judge Morrison in court last Wednesday, according to the activist, City-Wide Rochester Tenant Union organizer Ryan Acuff.

Kawanais Smith and Ryan Acuff

Kawanais Smith and Ryan Acuff

Acuff was arrested Oct. 22 for trespassing in at Landsman Development Corporation’s E.L. Tower, a move that he and other organizers called “retaliatory” and “union-busting.” It was the second cause-related arrest this year of Acuff, a Catholic Worker and leader of the City-wide Tenants Union of Rochester.

James Goth

James Goth

James Goff, the CEO of Landsman, told The Real Deal in a statement that Acuff was arrested at a private event celebrating the completion of a $25 million renovation of the Rochester tower. The developer alleged that Acuff was disrupting the event and refused repeated requests by security and the Rochester police to leave.

“This individual has visited our facility dozens of times to hold City-Wide Tenant Union organizational meetings. He has always been welcome for organizational meetings,” Goff said. “We are committed to investing in affordable housing options for local residents and the revitalization of downtown Rochester in the years to come.”

Landsman dropped the charges, according to Goff, who declined to comment further. Judge Caroline Morrison, who was presiding over the case, did not respond to a request for comment.


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