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Modified: May 28, 2020 3:00pm
Created: May 28, 2020 9:07am

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May 28, 2020

Erie County Clerk and Erie County Comptroller contacted
all police chiefs in Erie County, opposing new law
charging police with a felony for sharing information about illegal immigrants


Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns and Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw continued their fight against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new law that charges police officer with a Class E felony for sharing information about illegal immigrants to other members of law enforcement.  

This new law that puts handcuffs on police for communicating with fellow members of law enforcement about illegals was placed into the state budget by Governor Cuomo.  Clerk Kearns and Comptroller Mychajliw, who already asked the Governor to repeal the law, wrote to police chiefs across Erie County, offering assistance to garner support to eliminate the new law, snuck into the budget under the cloak of COVID-19, that turns police into criminals. 

In their letter, Clerk Kearns and Comptroller Mychajliw stated their strong support of local law enforcement, and vowed to work with local police departments to do “whatever it takes to reverse this despicable attack on police.” 

“Governor Cuomo wants to turn police into lawbreakers for doing their job and keeping communities safe.  It is unconscionable that Governor Cuomo wants cops charged with a felony for protecting families.  It was thought that this slap in the face to law enforcement would go unnoticed.  The Governor was wrong,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.   

Additionally, Clerk Kearns and Comptroller Mychajliw pointed out the dangers in forcing police and government agencies to not share information about criminal activity.

“Leading up to the 9/11 attacks, law enforcement worked in isolated silos.  They kept information about criminals close to the vest.  They did not share intelligence.  It hurt us.  Now Governor Cuomo wants to return to the dark days before 9/11, when law enforcement did not communicate.  It is dead wrong to give criminals more rights than police,” added Clerk Kearns.

Comptroller Mychajliw and Clerk Kearns have been outspoken in their criticism of the Green Light Law, which gives illegal immigrants the right to obtain driver’s licenses, and this is the second time they’ve spoken out jointly against this dangerous amendment. 

 Clerk Kearns is currently in court, fighting New York State and its insistence to give illegal immigrants a valid New York State Driver’s License.  Comptroller Mychajliw also opened up his “Whistleblower Hotline” to any County Clerk across New York State to report any illegal immigrant that applies for a driver’s license.

In their letter to police chiefs, Clerk Kearns and Comptroller Mychajliw state: “it is unconscionable that Governor Cuomo making it a felony for law enforcement to share information about illegal immigrants inserted the change under the cloak of the COVID-19 crisis hoping no one would notice.  It is clear cut obstruction for our local police and sheriffs, putting you at risk.” 

The Democrat and Republican county-wide officials conclude by thanking the police departments for putting their lives on the line to keep us safe and pledged to work collaboratively in the future to repeal Governor Cuomo’s law.


For a PDF of the Press Release, please CLICK HERE.

For a PDF of the Letter, please CLICK HERE