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DA investigation finds ECWA actions were not criminal


The Erie County Water Authority may have been mismanaged in 2015 and 2016, according to a recent report by the state's Authorities Budget Office, but the ABO says its actions were not criminal.

The Erie County District Attorney's office conducted its own probe, and also found that there was no criminal activity at the Water Authority.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he’s not surprised.

“The ABO issued its report and made some recommendations, but they didn’t really put forth any evidence of what would be considered criminal activity,” said Poloncarz. “I didn’t think there would be based on my knowledge of Jerry Schad at least. So I said I believe he’s an honest (and) ethical individual.”

Even with today’s results, Poloncarz still thinks major changes should be made to the water authority.

“I really didn’t believe that there was criminal activity there,” said Polocarz. “Whether I did the plan before or not, I thought that there needs to be changes to the water authority regardless and that plan still stands.”

There were concerns about the Water Authority refusing to answer Freedom of Information Law requests, but the DA says that is a civil matter, not a criminal one.

The ABO says it would have contacted the DA if any criminal activity had been found.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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