Modified: December 2, 2020 10:11am
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz today issued the following statement regarding Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw’s illegal attempt to subvert the Erie County Charter by claiming powers the Charter does not delegate to his office:
“The Erie County Charter does not give the Comptroller the powers he is claiming to have. While the Charter does provide the Comptroller “have custody of all accounts”, the role of Comptroller is a non-policy making position that is strictly ministerial in nature. He is a pass-through for the county’s fiduciary activities and has no voice or role in determining where funds come from or why they come; all his office does is collect and deposit checks, pay the county’s bills, and reconcile the accounts. It is the executive and legislative branches that set policy for the county, not the Comptroller. In fact, the Charter requires the Comptroller to provide reports and other information “to the County Executive and Legislature as requested.” He is required to report to the policymakers; he does not in fact set county policy.
Furthermore, the Comptroller’s threat to freeze Health Department accounts in a time of pandemic is incredibly reckless and potentially endangers the lives of county residents. His issuance of a press release stating his intentions to subvert the Charter does not, in reality, give him any power. We are a society governed by laws. The issuance of any statement by the Comptroller contrary to the laws of Erie County does not in fact render those laws null and void. If the comptroller attempts to contravene the laws of the county and New York State, and act above and beyond the powers granted to him by the laws of the County, we will take any and all action to enforce the laws and policies of Erie County.
As the former Comptroller, I helped to write some of the very same provisions that delineate the role of that office. Now is not the time to continually entertain illegitimate power-grabbing fantasies, now is the time to work together as a community to protect public health.”
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