BUFFALO, N.Y. — A process server working for a local investigations firm claims that Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz warned her to get off his property or he would shoot her, when she went to his home to serve papers on him as apart of a lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed by two county residents, Mike Lomas and Glen Wiggle, known more commonly as the "Financial Guys" who run an investment and advisement firm, and host a radio show.
They filed suit on January 3 regarding the $176,000 dollars Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein has received in overtime payments on top of her more than $200,000 annual salary.
In the suit, they contend her overtime is illegal, and ask that she be required to pay it back, and to disclose any income she may have earned while working in private practice when also serving as the county's Commissioner of Health.
Named in the suit besides Burstein, is the County Executive, and the county’s Commissioner of Personnel, Timothy Hogues.
According to the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of Lomas and Wiggle, Todd Aldinger, the defendants are being sued as individuals
As is common when civil suits are filed, defendants named can expect to be served with papers, officially notifying them that legal action has been taken against them.
Jodi Williams is an employee of Empire State Process Service, a division of the private investigations firm Probe Services, where she says she serves as a special investigator and Process Service Coordinator.
According to the Affidavit of Service filed with the New York State Supreme Court, Williams attests that she had tried unsuccessfully on three occasions to serve Poloncarz at his Delaware Avenue home and at one other address in the City of Buffalo.
Then, on January 29 at 4:10 pm she writes,
After knocking on the front door several times with no answer (some as previous attempts) I noticed that the laundry was going and decided to see if there was another door on the side of the house. I noticed a shared driveway to the left of the residence and there was a red SUV parked behind the defendants' residence near a rear door. Upon knocking on the rear door I saw Mr. Poloncarz inside his kitchen area and he yelled "you're lucky you didn't get shot" to me through the window. I asked "why would I get shot? I have a summons for you" and lifted up the large packet of papers I had in my hand so that he could see them. He then told me that "the sheriffs just left and they are on their way back" so I asked if he wanted me to wait for them. He then told me I was trespassing and said "get the f*&% off my property before I shoot you!" At that time I left the papers at his back door and departed the area."
County Executive's Response
In an emailed response to a request by 2 On Your Side for comment, Press Secretary to the County Executive Peter Anderson wrote: "The County Executive did not threaten to shoot anyone. Thank you."
Sticking to Her Story
Reached by phone, Williams said that while she has no recording of the encounter, she insisted her sworn and notarized account of what happened and filed with the court is accurate and true.
"I was slightly shocked because while I am used to getting yelled at on occasion by those who I am serving papers on, I'm not used to being threatened with being shot," she said, while declining an on camera interview due to the nature of her work which she says would be adversely affected by her image appearing on screen.
"He threatened me and was irate and screaming. I was not expecting this from someone in his position, especially when he knew he was eventually going to be served," said Williams, while noting that as an attorney and an officer of the court, Poloncarz should have known better.
You can read the affidavits and complaint here. Personal information has been redacted from the documents.