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Modified: October 20, 2020 8:43am
Created: October 20, 2020 8:37am

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October 20, 2020

Rev. Walter Grabowski
St Gabriel's R.C. Church
5271 Clinton Street
Elma, NY 14059

Dear Rev. Walter Grabowski,

The Office of Erie County Comptroller recently produced a report that might be of interest to your establishment. It concerns all businesses in Erie County that received either a violation or fine from the Erie County Health Department due to COVID-19 "violations."

On September 27th Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, in response to a photo posted on social media where he was pictured without a mask, sharing communal food and consuming alcohol with a large group of people, stated:

"I should have worn a mask but forgot. It happens. Our Department of Health considers a close contact being with others for more than 10 minutes. While I should have worn a mask, nothing the team members did in that photo is contrary to our health protocols.”

 Source: Mark C. Poloncarz,, "Poloncarz addresses maskless group photo," 9/27/2020

At the time of your Department of Health inspection and subsequent violation, if you were not granted a 10-minute period of leniency to correct potential violations, it is my belief your violation should be removed from any public record and a full refund of any fines should be given to you.

Please contact me by email at  My office will pursue a grievance on your behalf if you were not given a ten-minute grace period in accordance with Erie County heath protocols.

I know how difficult it is to operate a business in New York State. Both Erie County and the State make up COVID regulations as they go along. You're stuck in the middle. Keeping your business open  difficult enough during a pandemic. The last thing you need right now is big government closing your doors and slapping fines on you for arbitrary rules that they themselves don't even personally follow.




         Stefan I. Mychajliw
         Erie County Comptroller


For pdf of letter, click HERE