BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The brother of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has gone from being a chef at Wegmans to a contract monitor with the county water authority.
It's appointment that's raising eyebrows. The county says he's more than qualified for the job. But the family ties are stirring up controversy.
Robb Poloncarz was appointed to a a full-time position with the Erie County Water Authority on Monday. The job did not have to be advertised because he was hired on a provisional basis, pending the outcome of a Civil Service Exam. But questions have been raised if Robb got some help from certain people in high places.
In winning the executive's job to run Erie County, Mark Poloncarz has a lot of say in who does what and what gets done. But when it comes to the Erie County Water Authority's Monday provisional hiring of Mark's younger brother Robb, to oversee all its contracts, the County Executive says he had nothing to do with it.
His press secretary, Peter Anderson, said, "He did not pull strings to get Robb into the position, no."
Robb's posting on LinkedIn says he served as a chef at Wegmans Food Markets, but Erie County Personnel Commissioner John Greenan, who vetted Robb's credentials, says he qualified for the $55,000 job at the Water Authority because of previous experience.
"He had previous experience at other corporations doing purchasing and contracting that allowed him to meet the qualifications for the position, as well as his college degree," Greenan said.
No one from the Water Authority would go on camera, but a short statement was issued saying Robb Poloncarz filled a void for the position of contract monitor. The authority said it needed a full-time contract monitor due to the recent reorganization of ECWA'S procurement department and procedures.
Their statement said, "Mr. Poloncarz was appointed after meeting all county and New York State Civil Service requirements for the position."
Robb Poloncarz still must take the civil service test and finish among the top three.
Greenan said, "When the results come back, if he doesn't fall within the top three, then he's legally removed from the position, and the position has to be given to somebody in the top three on the civil service list."
Greenan says there may be a hundred people applying for that job. Mark Poloncarz declined an interview for this story. But in the race for County Executive, he made an issue
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