Investigative Post has learned there are questions surrounding the chairperson of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Investigative Post has learned there are questions surrounding the chairperson of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz appointed Chris Johnston to the IDA board in March 2012 and elevated him to acting chairman about a year ago.
Johnston, as most IDA board members, has a "day job," or in his case had a day job. He worked since 2007 as president and CEO of the Word Trade Center of Buffalo Niagara. The non-profit organization that promotes international trade.
According to sources and documents obtained by Investigative Post, one or more Trade Center employees raised concerns about some of Johnston's spending practices earlier this year. Johnston responded by recommending the dismissal of one of the whistle blowers in early March.
Sources told Investigative Post the trade center's board in turn asked legal counsel to investigative the allegations. Near the end of its review, sources said the lawyers recommended that Johnston be suspended with pay, and the board took that action on March 25.
Nearly two weeks later, on April 7, Johnston resigned, stating his desire to pursue other opportunities.
On Wednesday, Investigative Post editor Jim Heaney reached out to Poloncarz and the chairperson of World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara. You can hear about the response in the video player above.