Golden parachutes may end at public authorities

Mar 1, 2018

Golden parachutes for political appointees would be banned under legislation proposed by Assemblymember Monica Wallace.

Assemblymember Monica Wallace (D-Lancaster) proposes the "Severance Pay Limitation Act" in front of ECWA headquarters on Union Road.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

Outside Erie County Water Authority offices, in Cheektowaga, Thursday, Wallace said, ECWA Executive Director, Earl Jann, was recently given a contract with a severance package estimated between $300,000 and $400,000. Wallace says it's government at its worse and a slap in the face to the ratepayers of Erie County.
    
"This generous severance package comes at a time when the Water Authority should be using its resources to fix our aging infrastructure and to address water quality concerns. And it also comes at a time when we just saw a recent rate increase."

But, Wallace says, if the Democratic controlled County Legislature keeps Jann on there will not be a cost to ratepayers.
    
"I think there were questions about this particular person's qualifications to begin with, and the writing was on the wall, and that's why they instituted a golden parachute," Wallace said.   

If the 'Severance Pay Limitation Act' is approved, Wallace said, it would limit severance packages for at-will appointees at public authorities to three months salary.

Jann tells WBFO News that he was given a three year contract not a golden parachute. Jann says, if he's forced out early he will only be paid the remainder of his contract. He declined a taped interview.