On September 20th, 2023, the Rochester Police Department concluded an investigation regarding a criminal complaint for assault against Joseph Burns. As a result of the investigation, the Prosecutor’s Office will be bringing forth one charge of simple assault, a Class B misdemeanor.
According to City Manager Katie Ambrose, the charge stems from an incident that occurred in the workplace, which was addressed internally. The criminal investigation was a separate process, and its outcome will be addressed by the courts.
For the duration of the internal investigation, Burns was put on paid administrative leave and is now no longer employed with the Rochester Fire Department.
Ambrose reports that the Human Resources Department acted swiftly to respond to the initial complaint, stating “The City of Rochester remains dedicated to fostering a safe and respectful work environment for all employees.”
“Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our staff,” said Ambrose. “Our policies ensure that individuals are held accountable for their actions. They also underscore our commitment to maintaining a safe work environment for all.”
The Rochester Police Department requested that Burns turn himself in to go through the booking process, which he did voluntarily on Friday, September 29th.
Burns was released on personal recognizance bail with the following conditions; he is to not have any contact with the victim or witnesses in the case, remain 1000 feet away from the victim, and cannot enter the Rochester Fire Department. His arraignment date is November 1, 2023, at 10:00 am at the Rochester District Court.