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Legislature to Water Authority chairman: Quit or we'll fire you

Schad.jpg
ecwa.org

The Erie County Legislature on Thursday gave Water Authority chairman Jerome Schad two choices: accept the recommendation that he quit or wait out the ten days until legislators can fire him.The push to remove him is based on that recommendation from the state Authorities Budget Office. The ABO recently delivered a savage analysis of mismanagement and legal violations. Schad was a member of the authority board at that time, although not chairman.

"The culture is never going to change while we leave people like Jerry Schad there. Clean house," said Minority Leader Joseph Lorigo.

Most Legislature Democrats tried to block the actions against Schad, a former Democratic counsel to the Legislature, but legislator Tom Loughran, a frequent critic of the water authority, joined Republicans in calling for Schad to exit.

"Any general rational person that would read the public authorities report, the ABO report, any rational person would call for his resignation and removal and I'm supporting that recommendation," said Lougran.

There is already a vacancy on the authority board. Some legislators are talking about establishing criteria for appointment to the board, from here forward.

Legislators from both sides of the aisle are calling for major changes at the authority, potentially even dissolving it into county government. Only Albany can do that because the water authority was created under state law and can only be changed by state law.