Water Board Defends Politically Connected Hires

September 6, 2012 Updated Sep 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

September 6, 2012 Updated Sep 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM EDT

The Erie County Water Authority holding a regular meeting Thursday while rumors swirl.

Robb Poloncarz, brother of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz was hired as a Contract Monitor earning $55,000 a year and Amy Garcia, the future sister-in-law of Nick Langworthy, the Chair of the Erie County Republican Party was hired as a secretary also bringing home $55,000 a year.

Both Robb Poloncarz and Garcia reported to work within the past couple of weeks and were hired over hundreds of other applicants.
The chairman and vice chairman of the water authority aren't hiding the fact that the pair landed the jobs in part because of their connections.

In reference to the recent hires Earl Jann, Vice Chair of the water authority said this,

"No, it probably wasn't a coincidence I'm not going to try and say that it was. The reality is we talk to various people all of us when job openings become available and they're job openings that we want to fill we do mention it to various people."

Jann stresses that both candidates were qualified for the jobs. The positions were left vacant when when the former employees retired.
Both Robb Poloncarz and Garcia still have to place in the top three on the civil service exam to keep the jobs.

That exam is handled by the state and there's no word yet on when it will take place.
The authority says these hires in no way impact rates for users.