BUFFALO, N.Y. — Former Erie County Social Services chief Al Dirschberger has been found guilty by a jury of one count of third-degree rape and one count of third-degree criminal sexual act.

Dirschberger was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman he supervised at a conference in Albany in 2017.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz released a statement on the verdict.

“Today’s verdict confirms my administration took the correct course of action in performing an immediate investigation of the incident upon learning of it and asking for the defendant’s resignation after confirming that he had violated numerous Erie County policies. Independent counsel retained by the Legislature also confirmed that my administration acted quickly and appropriately in this case and cooperated fully with investigators and law enforcement as the case moved forward.  Additionally, it should be noted that Erie County declined to provide a defense or indemnity for the defendant upon learning of these charges as his actions did not fall within the scope of his public employment or duties. I do not tolerate any form of sexual misconduct, especially the abhorrent conduct in this case, and my thoughts are with the victim at this time.”

Poloncarz refused to talk about the case on camera or answer any questions from 2 On Your Side.

Dirschberger was remanded by the court immediately after the verdict was read. He faces up to 4 years in prison when sentenced on April 12.


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