Fri March 15, 2013
Poloncarz critical of Homeland Security audit of 2006 storm
Washington may be claiming Erie County misspent tens of millions of dollars in cleaning up the 2006 October Surprise storm, and suggesting the money should be sent back, but Erie County Executive Poloncarz is saying the inspector general of the Homeland Security Department doesn't know how to do an audit.
"It's a shoddy piece of auditing," said Poloncarz.
Poloncarz isn't being circumspect in his comments on the audit suggesting the county should return nearly $49-million of the $53-million spent on re-starting this region after the storm.
After six-years as county comptroller, Poloncarz says he knows how to do an audit, and that wasn't what was done in this federal one.
From waiting more than six-years to not knowing federal law allows home town preference in cleaning up disasters, the county executive says this is bad, and that's what he will be telling FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Acting IG Charles Edwards in Washington.
But Poloncarz is also working working with Representative Chris Collins of Amherst, the man he beat for county executive.
The former county executive was in office during the time the 2006 storm.
"I talked to him the night of the State of the Union," said Poloncarz. "It was the first time he learned about it. I let him know what happened. He kind off laughed. He said 'geez I thought we put that to bed. We worked on that for years.' He said don't worry we will work together on this and we have," said Poloncarz.
Poloncarz said the county has 15-bankers boxes of records showing how the money was spent and all of the approvals from FEMA and Albany at the time of the cleanup.