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Editorial: Major scandal at the Erie County Water Authority


The three Commissioners in the Water Authority paid $134,000 to outside lawyers even though they already had 4 lawyers on staff.  One might wonder why the ECWA needed these three outside lawyers.  These lawyers were given good old patronage jobs which probably helped pay off their college loans or or perhaps pay for their new jaguar. Who knows?

The three Commissioners know but they won't respond to FOIL requests.  These three are the ones who run the ECWA.  They are called "Commissioners" and were put in power because they did favors for major party Chairmen and are abusing the power they have in many different and illegal ways.

None of these men are qualified to run the Water Authority, but then again there aren't any actual qualifications to be a Commissioner.

Jerry Schad, Chairman of the Amherst Democratic Committee, is one of these Commissioners appointed by Jeremy Zellner, Democratic Chair of Erie County, to this patronage position.

Jerry was the person who gave money to candidates from the PAC which was under investigation.  Dennis Ward, before he came a judge, attended an Amherst Democratic meeting.  Scad is the Chairman of that group.  Ward said he was investigating the illegal money given to candidates from PAC.  I asked Mr. Ward if any of our candidates received any of this money.  He replied, "Most likely."  It turned that out some candidates did receive money.

The Commissioners would place people they knew into regular jobs which the public never had a chance to apply for.  If any of these leeches on the ECWA was removed the new person would put them in jobs to keep their loyalty.  A prime example was when Mark Poloncarz made up a job for his friend which paid over a $100,000 dollars.  Patronage jobs are the most sicking weapon the leaders of political parties have to get undying loyalty.  This also goes for the lawyers who were paid $134,000.  Now the citizens know who the high rollers are in our Water Authority.

Our best best is to have these Commissioners removed and have a test administered to individuals who want to run our Water Authority.

Give your Governor a call and complain.

-- James Tricoli is editor of Amherst Times

Originally published on Amherst Times. Republished with permission.