Mychajliw Does About Face, Hires CPA For A Top Job

1:16 AM, Mar 7, 2013   |    comments
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Doug Riffel

Buffalo, N.Y. - After hiring, and being forced to let go his Chief Of Staff, who had no financial background, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw has now hired a CPA to fill a top job on his staff.

A few weeks ago, Mychajliw named Doug Riffel, a Certified Public Accountant with 30 years experience, as his Associate Deputy Comptroller.

Mychajliw had campaigned on a promise to hire only "the best and the brightest regardless of their political party," as well as people with strong financial backgrounds to fill the top four jobs in his office.

And although three of Mychajliw's top four hires did have extensive financial experience, the fourth did not. Mychajliw hired Jeff Bochiechio, a young Republican Party operative and lawyer to one of those jobs, and designated Bochiechio as his Chief of Staff.

Bochiechio was forced to resign a few weeks later when Mychajliw learned that Bochiechio had been found guilty of drunk driving last fall.

On Wednesday, 2 On Your Side's Scott Brown asked Mychajliw what he learned from his experience in hiring Bochiechio.

"The best lesson learned was right out of the gate, I should have said, 'yeah I need someone with political, governmental and legal experience,'" (for the Chief of Staff job) said Mychajliw.

Scott Brown: "But the man you hired to replace him (Riffel) does not have any legal, or governmental or political experience."

Stefan Mychajliw: "We had zero transition going into this office. Now that I've been in office two months, it's shocking how bad of shape we're in when it comes to not having accountants in our office, we're also down two auditing positions and so our needs need to be addressed in a different way."

Riffel is making $62,900 a year, the same salary that Bochiechio was making.

Mychajliw is running for re-election this year. Right now he has no Democratic opponent.

Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner tells 2 On Your Side that "two or three people are exploring" running against Mychajliw.

Zellner says his top criteria for a candidate is that they have a background in finance, which is something Mychajliw does not have.

Zellner hopes to have a candidate to run against Mychajliw by May.

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