ERIE COUNTY, NY—Today, Tuesday, January 3, 2012, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz signed five Executive Orders (Numbers 001-005) as his first order of business since being sworn in as Erie County’s eighth County Executive. The orders concerned a number of issues including: the Buffalo Bills Stadium Lease, the creation of a Medicaid Anti-Fraud Task Force, the County’s electronic time keeping “swipe card” system, updating Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) guidelines and the County Attorney’s use of outside counsel.
“As a candidate, I promised to implement many of the recommendations that I made as Comptroller, that were, unfortunately, ignored by previous administrations,” said Poloncarz. “Today, as my first order of business since being sworn in as Erie County Executive, I will issue several Executive Orders that will not only begin to implement those recommendations but also address many other important issues.”
Poloncarz continued, “As County Executive, I plan to issue Executive Orders and make them publicly available in an effort to keep the residents and taxpayers of Erie County—my bosses—informed of my actions when they do not require Legislative approval.”
Executive Order #001—Procurement of Legal Services to Support Buffalo Bills Lease Negotiations:
This order requires the Erie County Attorney to immediate commence a process to procure the services of special counsel to support the upcoming lease negotiations with the Buffalo Bills through the issuance of a Request for Proposals from qualified law firms.
Executive Order #002—Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Task Force:
This order requires the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, in conjunction with the County Attorney’s Office and the Erie County Comptroller’s Office, to recommend the methods and procedures to create a Medicaid Anti-Fraud Task Force.
As Comptroller, Poloncarz issued a review (6/17/2009) examining Erie County’s anti-fraud initiatives and expressing concern over the County’s lack of progress in recovering funds from providers engaging in fraud.
Executive Order #003—Time and Attendance Monitoring – Use of Swipe Cards:
This order requires every employee of Erie County, including the Deputy County Executive, commissioners, deputy commissioners and other exempt employees to abide by Erie County’s electronic time keeping “swipe card” system policy as stated in the Erie County Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual.
As Comptroller, Poloncarz issued two separate reviews (7/15/2009 and 8/11/2011) of the swipe card system, which noted that prior administrations had exempted commissioners, deputy commissioners and senior staff from adhering to the policy.
Executive Order #004—Equal Employment Opportunity Program Review and Update:
This order requires the Director of the Erie County Equal Employment Opportunity Office to review and update the Erie County Affirmative Action Manual to bring it into compliance with current law and practices. This manual has not been updated since 1981.
Executive Order #005—Review of Use of Outside Counsel by the Erie County Attorney:
This order requires the Erie County Attorney to conduct a study and submit a report on the use of retained counsel by Erie County.