Comptroller's audit finds fault with Erie County Ethics Board

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz issued a critical audit Thursday of the county's Board of Ethics and its ethics code. He says the board currently has just one active member and five vacancies.

Poloncarz also says the board has failed to properly review disclosure statements submitted by county officials to determine if there are any conflicts of interest.

"The board has merely, and barely at that, performed a clerical role for the past three years of confirming who has filed," Poloncarz said. "That is unacceptable and does not adhere to their statutory mission."

Poloncarz is calling on the County Legislature to draft a new law that would update the ethics code. He is also recommending that County Executive Chris Collins submit the names of qualified candidates for possible board appointment to the County Legislature.

Poloncarz said the Collins administration refused to cooperate with the audit and ignored subpoenas, until a State Supreme Court ordered officials to comply.