Tag: Erie County government

Sep 1

2016

Urban League lawsuit dismissed

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A lawsuit brought by the Buffalo Urban League, which took the unusual step in April of suing Erie County after a scathing audit by the county comptroller, has been dismissed. The audit, which was completed last December, found that the Urban League had over-billed the county by an estimated $40,000, as well as failing to properly train its caseworkers. “This is a clear and decisive victory,” said Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw. “It’s a victory for the independence of the office of the Erie County Comptroller and a victory for taxpayers.” The Urban League had been asking for the audit[...]

Posted 6 years ago

May 20

2016

Child abuse investigations still lag

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  The unit charged with investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect in Erie County is still having a hard time clearing cases on time. While there has been improvement since Investigative Post reported on the unit’s performance last summer, about four in 10 investigations are not completed within the timeframe the state requires. And although caseworkers are assigned fewer cases, the average workload is still higher than the state-recommended maximum. “There has been improvement but we’re still not where we should be,” said Erie County legislator Ted Morton, who is vice chairman of the committee that oversees Child and[...]

Posted 6 years ago

Apr 11

2016

Urban League sues over critical audit

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The Buffalo Urban League, disgruntled after a critical audit by the Erie County Comptroller, is pressing ahead with legal action against the county. The agency filed an Article 78 petition Friday in State Supreme Court. A court date is set for May 10. Urban League President Brenda McDuffie said the comptroller’s report was “filled with factual and procedural errors” and that had harmed the agency’s reputation. The Urban League is not seeking monetary damages but wants the report to be withdrawn. Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw said he stands by the work of his auditors. He said the Urban League was wasting money on legal[...]

Posted 6 years ago

Mar 9

2016

Urban League still complaining about audit

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The   The Buffalo Urban League, recently the subject of a critical report from the Erie County Comptroller, is threatening legal action unless the report and negative public statements are withdrawn, Channel 2’s Dave McKinley reports. The story includes comments from Charlotte Keith of Investigative Post. The audit confirmed previous reporting by Investigative Post that found the Urban League submitted falsified bills, failed to properly train employees or secure confidential records, and retaliated against whistleblowers. Sources have told Investigative Post that the audit findings are being reviewed by Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty to determine if there are possible[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Jan 29

2016

DA reviewing Urban League misdeeds

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There were two noteworthy developments Thursday regarding findings by Investigative Post and the Erie County Comptroller about inappropriate actions taken by the Buffalo Urban League, including the submission of inflated bills and retaliation against whistleblowers. A highly placed county source told Investigative Post that the staff of Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty  has been meeting with the comptroller’s office to review its audit findings. The source said no decision has been made as to whether to launch a criminal investigation. Meanwhile, the Erie County Legislature held a public hearing on the comptroller’s audit. Democratic legislators, joined by County[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Jan 10

2016

Considering Mark Poloncarz

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I’ve been on the airwaves the past week discussing Mark Poloncarz – his demeanor, his job performance, his supposed mandate. I appeared Sunday with Steve Brown on Outrages & Insights, my weekly video blog on WGRZ. I was interviewed last week at greater length by Susan Arbetter for a segment of The Capitol Pressroom that broadcasts on 20 public radio stations across upstate, including WBFO. I used to hold Poloncarz in relatively high regard, but have soured on him over the past year. Yes, he is smart (although thin skinned, and sometimes downright prickly). And he can be more forthcoming than your[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Dec 23

2015

Was dead mother failed by social services?

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The story of the four-year-old boy who spent days alone with his mother’s dead body, surviving on milk and maple syrup, has prompted a public outpouring of sympathy and the donation of gifts that piled up at police headquarters. Former employees of the Buffalo Urban League say there’s another side to the story. The boy’s mother, Shaleena Hamilton, had been receiving preventive services under the $1 million contract recently audited by the county comptroller, according to six current and former Urban League caseworkers. The audit, released two weeks ago, found extensive problems in the agency’s handling of the contract, including overbilling, a[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Dec 13

2015

Urban League scandal demands further scrutiny

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What to do about the Buffalo Urban League and its president and CEO, Brenda McDuffie? Something, that’s for sure. As our Charlotte Keith first reported, and an audit released last week by Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw subsequently confirmed, the Urban League has been overcharging Erie County for services that include working with families to prevent child abuse. To make matters worse, the Urban League retaliated against the caseworkers who helped expose the problem, firing or running off all eight of them. To make matters even worse, Urban League officials stonewalled the comptroller’s audit and, on the eve of its[...]

Posted 7 years ago