BUFFALO, N.Y. - 2 On Your Side has learned that the Erie County Water Authority hired the future sister-in-law of Erie County Republican Nick Langworthy to a good paying job, the latest in a long history of the authority hiring people with political ties.
When we sat down with the three Water Authority commissioners just two weeks ago, they said they were proud of changes they had been making to the authority's free spending, high salaried ways.
They pointed out they had entered into a new less costly lease for their headquarters at the Ellicott Square, had cut two six figure jobs, and were taking steps to better use the properties it owned.
But now we've learned that back in June, the authority hired Amy Garcia, Langworthy's fiancee's sister, to a job as the secretary to the authority's Executive Director at a salary of $55,132.48 a year.
This revelation follows one from last week that the authority hired County Executive Mark Poloncarz's brother to another job at exactly the same pay of 55,132.48 as a contract compliance officer.
2 On Your Side's Scott Brown spoke with the Authority's chairman about the hires and rumors that a deal was cut to bring them on board.
Scott Brown: "Two weeks ago I sat down with you guys and you said things were changing, what happened?"
Fran Warthling, Chairman: "Well things are changing, things are changing for the better, we're doing a lot more on saving the rate payers money."
Scott Brown: "Is it just a coincidence that people tied to Mark Poloncarz and Nick Langworthy have been hired recently?"
Fran Warthling: "Well someone like Poloncarz, Robb Poloncarz, I've known my whole entire life, he grew up a block away from me. He was interested in a position, he put in an application, we reviewed it, Civil Service reviewed it I should say, and he was qualified for the position."
Scott Brown: "Was there a deal here among Republicans and Democrats to put these people on board?"
Fran Warthling: "Absolutely not, no."
Scott Brown: "Did you speak to Mark Poloncarz at all about this?"
Fran Warthling: "I did not. I know Robb and I did not speak to Mark about this at all."
Scott Brown: "Did you speak with Nick Langworthy at all?"
Fran Warthling: "No, not at all."
Scott Brown: "Do you know if either one of them spoke to people at the authority about the hires?"
Fran Warthling: "No, not that I know of."
Scott Brown: "For people watching they're going to say 'this stinks to high heaven.'"
Fran Warthling: "It's just how this came down where we needed these positions filled and these were the candidates. There was no game being played where 'you hire this person, I'll hire that person,' that didn't happen."
Langworthy as the Republican Chairman recommends the appointment of one of the three Water Authority commissioners.
He also denies there were any deals cut in order for his fiancee's sister to get a job at the authority.
Scott Brown: "Did you make any calls on her behalf?
Nick Langworthy: "I was made aware of the position opening and I urged her to apply for the job, that's the extent of my involvement."
Scott Brown: "So you didn't call the Executive Director or any of the commissioners?"
Nick Langworthy: "No, I have never called the Executive Director."
Scott Brown: "Did she make them aware that you're her future brother-in-law?"
Nick Langworthy: "No she did not. Her resume speaks for itself she's very qualified for the secretarial position that she was hired for, she has a four year degree from Canisius College and her resume spoke for itself."