Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz responds to questions about maskless photo

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz released a statement on Twitter Sunday addressing a maskless photo that recently surfaced on social media of him and a group of around sixteen people posing together for the South Park Golf Club.

“Yesterday I was part of a team golf event in which our team won and I was asked to get in a photo with some of the team members. I did and forgot to wear my mask” Poloncarz said.

The county executive stated that the department of health considers close contact as being with others for more than ten minutes and while the group only stood together for about fifteen seconds, it was a good reminder of why he must “carry a mask at all times.”

Erie County comptroller Stefan Mychajliw is among those calling the executive a hypocrite.
He tweeted he doesn’t want to hear poloncarz criticizing anyone not wearing a mask among other things and that the health department would shut a business down for this.

This isn’t the first time the executive and comptroller have gone head-to-head over face masks or covid-19 safety guidelines. In July Poloncarz released surveillance video showing himself and a maskless Mychajiliw in an elevator.

Poloncarz warned the comptroller to start wearing a mask or he would be kicked out of the Rath Building.

Here’s what Poloncarz said about Mychajliw nearly three months ago:

“It’s disappointing for what he’s saying, because we’ve taken so many precautions and measures including to the point of buying the special sprayers to spray every door knob in this building every night.”

Mychajiliw fired back questioning why employees were even allowed back inside the Rath Building.
He argued safety guidelines weren’t being followed claiming no one was checking temperatures before entering.

“It’s physically impossible for people to safely social distance in an elevator, yet they want four people on an elevator at one time.”

Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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