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E.C. Water Authority fires executive director

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Posted at 12:13 PM, Jun 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-14 12:13:47-04

Earl Jann, the executive director of the Erie County Water Authority, is out of a job.

The current water authority board voted this morning to fire Jann, voiding his contract that was approved by the former board in February. 

Jann's ouster comes just two days after the Authorities Budget Office - the state agency that oversees public authorities in New York - released a blistering report on water authority, calling on the county legislature to clean house and replace commissioners of the board. 

That report found former board members gave Jann a 'golden parachute' by blindly approving the February contract, guaranteeing him a full salary for the length of his contract regardless of whether future boards would want to terminate him. Jann made more than $136,000 last year. 

Water authority chairman Jerome Schad is the lone board member still remaining who sat on the board that approved Jann's contract. 

In addition, the report found the former board conducted much of the authority's business in private, which is a violation of the provisions of Open Meetings Law. Instead, board members operated under a "veil of secrecy."

The state agency also found the authority avoided notifying customers of expected water rate changes. The authority determined in October 2017 that residential water rates would increase to $3.23 per 1,000 gallons for 2018 and increase another seven cents for 2019. The authority has not disclosed the increase to customers. 

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