New Water Authority leader resigns week after starting job

Feb 13, 2019

The Erie County Water Authority is again in the market for an executive director after H. John Mye III quit his new post, citing "unforeseen personal matters."

Mye was hired to provide stability for an agency which, for years, was looked upon as an institution rife with political patronage. Last year it was blasted in a state report following an audit of its administrative practices.

H. John Mye III resigned his post four days into the job.
Credit Erie County Water Authority/e3Communications

Prior to his hiring in January, Mye served as chief financial officer of the Lancaster-based engineering firm Ecology and Environment, Inc. He replaced former director Earl Jann, who was fired last summer.

“After my very brief time at the ECWA discovering the full magnitude of the responsibilities of the position, and after close consultation with my family, I have determined that due to this personal matter it is in the best interests of myself and the ECWA to resign," Mye said, in a statement.

Water Authority chairman Jerome Schad told WBFO there will be a job opening ad within days, looking for an even-more qualified boss.

"Last time, we were successful with some very strong talent from as far away as California and Florida. We hope to then cull the list down to a manageable group of finalists and do some interviews and make a decision. We're shooting for 60 days, although my realistic assessment here is 60 to 90 days, we should be able to get this done," Schad said Wednesday.

Mye started in his new post on Feb. 4 His resignation is effective Friday, Feb. 15. He was not made available for interviews on Wednesday.

At the time of his hiring, Schad said, "I don't think there's anyone out there who is in a position to say this is not a good choice."

Erie County Legislator Tom Loughran has been a persistent critic of the authority's operations. He says it may again be time to take a deep dive into the agency.

"I was an early advocate of having a credentialed executive director. I thought we made some progress there. There have been other initiatives put forward of transparency and that was hopeful. But, I'd have to say, it makes you wonder, now," Loughran said.

County legislators are looking to fill a seat on the authority board, which will soon be open.