Erie Co. Exec. Poloncarz withdraws choice for Central Police Services Commissioner

(Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has withdrawn his pick of Lackawanna Police Chief James Michel for Commissioner of Central Police Services.

Poloncarz said on Thursday that he received a copy of a Lackawanna Police Department investigation related to alleged inappropriate conduct from Michel.

In 1999, Michel, who at the time was a lieutenant, was accused of inappropriate conduct that was directed at a lower ranked female employee.

“Had this information been available to me at the time of his recommendation from the Erie County Central Police Services Board of Trustees, I would not have recommended Mr. Michel to serve as Central Police Services Commissioner,” Poloncarz stated. “My administration has no tolerance for sexist, hostile conduct towards anyone, lest of all from senior officials.”

Poloncarz says that the vetting process to find a commissioner was “insufficient” and that he wants to examine how the Board of Trustees makes their recommendations. He hopes to make the process stronger in the future.

Michel plans to hold a conference on the withdrawal at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

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