Date: April 11, 2014
COMPTROLLER MYCHAJLIW RELEASES WHISTLEBLOWER REPORT
(Buffalo, NY) – Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw released the bi-annual report and summary of the Whistleblower Hotline managed by his office to the Legislature. The report (attached) includes information relating to confidential tips received between June 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. During that period, the hotline received a total of 84 tips via e-mail, letter and telephone.
The most important tip that arose from this report period alleged that the county was not properly complying with elevator inspection requirements in county buildings. Comptroller Mychajliw responded promptly, out of concern for employee and public safety, and ordered an audit of the elevator maintenance procedures. “Thousands of employees and citizens come to the county’s buildings each and every day, and while here, they deserve to be safe,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.
“In addition to providing a safe environment, we have a responsibility to the taxpayer to properly maintain their assets to prevent further and likely larger maintenance costs in the future,” he continued.
The audit revealed that many elevators had not been properly inspected and that a lack of oversight existed over their inspection process and maintenance schedule. The Department of Public works has received the audit recommendations and has implemented several.
“This is what the hotline is about, identifying problems and bringing them to our attention. When every citizen has an opportunity to be part of our eyes and ears, our resources for serving as the taxpayer’s watchdog increase significantly,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.
The majority of the tips involved suspected welfare fraud, which were all forwarded to the Department of Social Service’s fraud division for investigation. Members of the public reported six instances of potential county employee misconduct, which were all investigated and handled with the employee’s supervisors.
The Comptroller reminds the public that they are always encouraged to report any waste, fraud or abuse of taxpayer dollars to the hotline. All tips remain anonymous and are investigated immediately.
Erie County Comptroller’s Whistleblower Hotline
PHONE: (716) 858-7722
MAIL: Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw
95 Franklin Street – 11th Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202