BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Erie County Comptroller released an audit of money handled by the sheriff's office that comes from inmates' phone calls.
David Shenk's office is questioning how the sheriff's office has spent certain money. An audit, released Thursday, finds it was "unacceptable" to buy new patrol vehicles, K-9 dogs and training, and office furniture, using commissary and telephone funds.
Shenk said, "According to state code, profits resulting from commissary sales shall be deposited in a separate bank account, and shall be utilized only for purposes of prisoner welfare and rehabilitation."
NYS law, puts no restrictions on telephone fund spending.
"Although no regulations are currently in place to guide the use of the telephone fund, I recommend that the sheriff adhere to the same guidelines as the commissary fund," Shenk said.
Shenk's opponent, Stefan Mychajliw, believes this is a campaign move.
"It's fairly bizarre, because the state law is fairly clear. So the un-elected, appointed comptroller is basically negating his own comments, and going against what state law says, in order to abuse his public office 11 days before an election. This is what typical politicians do. Desperate politicians are behind in the polls," Mychajliw said.
Shenk tells News 4 there's no political motivation, but he's "not surprised" by his opponent's charge.
"I even alluded at a debate earlier in the week that I was going to be releasing an audit real soon. The sheriff was aware of the timetable. And it's a shame that he's taking this shot, when frankly, he doesn't have the right background to be even running for this office," Shenk countered.
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