Tensions between Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw are carrying into 2021, showing no immediate sign of letting up. The pair have attacked and criticized the other’s performance regularly over the course of this pandemic.
The latest shot, from Poloncarz, accuses Mychajliw in a letter of attending the Capitol Building riot, and even participating in the mayhem and violence itself. The basis for this inquiry of the Comptroller’s exact whereabouts, according to Poloncarz: “a perception fueled by local AM talk radio and social media environments.”
Questions asked by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz:
- “Were you in Washington, D.C. on January 6th, and if so, what was your reasoning for going?”
- “What did you do while you were there?”
- “How long were you there and how did you travel from and back to our region?”
- “Were you with any group or individual that massed on, or entered, the capitol, and, if so, please name those individuals?”
- “Did you take part in any violent acts against people or property?”
- “Will you renounce this anti-democratic attack on our government?”
- “Why have you waited this long to say anything about it?”
“Mark Poloncarz sent me what must be the dumbest letter in the history of government,” Mychajliw responded in a YouTube broadcast.
Giving his perspective, Mychajliw broke apart the accusations, saying Poloncarz targeted dates Mychajliw forgot to use his ID card upon entry at the Rath County Office Building in Buffalo. Using those dates, Poloncarz approached media outlets to bolster a story about Mychajliw’s supposed absences from work, and even possible attendance at the Capitol Building riots in Washington D.C.
Mychajliw criticized the logic, saying, “Because sometimes I don’t use my ID to park my car, or open a door, that means I’m not here in the Rath Building? It’s one hundred percent false.” Additionally, he says the building has a semi-relaxed code for entry; explaining that doors are frequently held open (out of politeness) for those coming-and-going. When this happens, he has no need to use his ID card, which would usually record his presence in the building.
Security footage provided by Mychajliw of varying dates his attendance was in question at the Rath County Office Building:
Addressing his accused participation in the January 6th riots at the Capitol Building, Mychajliw said, “Guess where I was, right here, while the riots were taking place, at the Rath Building in Buffalo.” He also questioned why Poloncarz, who has direct access to this footage, didn’t investigate the days in question before leveling such serious accusations.
Security footage from January 6th showing Mychajliw at the Rath Building in Buffalo:
Providing further evidence, on January 6th, Mychajliw said three reporters contacted him in an inquiry of his whereabouts. According to the Comptroller, a record of that should still exist, giving another source to confirm his presence in Erie County during the riots in Washington, D.C.