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Comptroller Establishes Employee Bed Bug Hotline



Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw opens up the County’s Whistleblower Hotline to employees to anonymously and confidentially report bed bug sightings, concerns and solutions

(Buffalo, New York) – Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw is reaching out to Erie County employees to hear their specific concerns on a bed bug and flea infestation in their workplace, and contacting local exterminators for solutions on how to solve the bug crisis in in the Rath Building. 

After months of sporadically spraying for bed bugs on multiple floors, Comptroller Mychajliw is concerned that the administration isn’t taking efforts to effectively exterminate the Rath Building seriously.  That is why Comptroller Mychajliw is calling on employees to start reporting bed bug sightings, their frustrations, and health concerns directly to his office through the Whistleblower Hotline.

In the last eight months, the county has alerted employees through an e-mail notification more than 20 times to provide notice that Ashland Pest Control would be treating the building for bed bugs.  The Rath Building is 16 stories tall with two sub basements.  Of those 18 floors, ten floors and the elevator cars have been chemically treated.  Some floors have been treated as many as many as six times.   

Employees can call, e-mail, or submit their concerns directly to the Comptroller in the following ways:

      Whistleblower Hotline:          (716) 858-7722

            Whistleblower E-mail: 

            Whistleblower Website:  

Understanding that employees may have reservations about sending concerns to the official government accounts, the Comptroller has also established a private e-mail address for employees to more comfortably contact. 

            Private E-mail:              

All calls, e-mails, and submissions are anonymous and confidential.

“When bed bugs were found in my office, I immediately sent my union employees home.   Our dedicated workers deserve a clean and safe work environment.  People should not be forced to work in a disgusting, bug infested environment,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.

Comptroller Mychajliw remains concerned about other employees in the building who aren’t organizationally part of his office as an independently elected official. 

“I understand why this problem is being dragged out and why employees are afraid to speak up.  I saw firsthand how poorly my employees were treated by the administration when we found bugs in our office,” continued Mychajliw. 

After Mychajliw sent his staff home with pay, the administration went into their time management record keeping system and changed the records of his employees to indicate “unauthorized leave unpaid,” which would have left them unpaid and unfairly penalized. 

Comptroller Mychajliw immediately hired counsel to defend his employees and his decision and the administration eventually backed down.  Additionally, his staff was not told the truth that their floor was treated, only later to learn that it was not.  Even though the administration sent a county-wide email stating the Comptroller’s Office floor would be treated, only after the fact employees found out nothing was done.

“Employees need an outlet to report their concerns.  Clearly it can’t be their managers who directly report to an administration intent on covering this up.  In establishing this hotline, I will take the fight for them to give their concerns the voice they deserve to get the problems addressed and cleaned up,” said Mychajliw.

Some things the Comptroller wants to hear from employees are:

  • Have you seen bed bugs in your workspace?
  • Have you been treated fairly from management about bed bugs being found in the Rath Building?
  • Is your workspace as clean as it was years ago?
  • Do you think the current approach to this problem has been effective?
  • Do you recall bed bugs being a problem in the Rath Building in the past?
  • What do you think the cause of the bed bug problem is?
  • Do you have any health concerns?
  • Is the County of Erie doing enough to provide you with a clean, safe and bed bug free environment?
  • What do you think can and should be done to remove bed bugs/fleas from the Rath Building?

The Office of Erie County Comptroller is also sharing the Whistleblower Hotline information with local exterminators, with the goal of soliciting guidance on how to properly fight the bed bug infestation at the Rath Building.