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Family of man found dead at EC Holding Center seeks answers, removal of sheriff

Anna Howard is seeking answers for the death her son, Mikey Frears.

“I just want justice for my son,” she said.

By the account of friends and family, Frears was a physically healthy man of 27. How he ended up dead last week inside the Erie County Holding Center has Howard and other friends and family seeking answers.

Standing outside of the Holding Center Monday afternoon with Frears’ family, Erie County Sheriff candidate Myles Carter said the negligence and lack of accountability shown by the Sheriff’s Department should culminate in the removal of Sheriff Timothy Howard.

“We come here as the family, as the community, asking for answers, demanding answers," he said. "In addition to demanding answers, we’re also demanding that Andrew Cuomo do his job and remove Sheriff Howard. I have not spoken to an individual in Erie County yet that has a favorable opinion of Sheriff Howard. There is nothing lost if this man is removed from office, only gain.”

A little-used power under Article 13 of the New York State Constitution allows the governor to remove an elected official before their term is up. However, the governor must provide a copy of the charges against said official and give the official the opportunity to have their defense heard. Sheriff Howard is not seeking re-election.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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