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Erie County Deputy Director Lichtenthal to lead department for another year

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Posted at 10:42 AM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 11:17:29-04

The past few weeks for the Erie County Water Authority have faced massive scrutiny, but today the board voted to put in place a leader for the time being.

ECWA Deputy Director Robert Lichtenthal's contract was extended for one year.  Lichtenthal served the role as Deputy Director, but now will temporarily fill the role of Executive Director after the board fired former Executive Director Earl Jann. Lichtenthal says it may be six months before the board fills the executive position.

This came after scathing reports from the state saying that the Erie County Water Authority operated under a "veil of secrecy."  On Wednesday, the Erie County District Attorney's Office found no criminal charges during the time period mentioned in the state's reports.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is calling for an overhaul of the board.  This decision to continue Lichtenthal's employment gives the authority some comfort after calls of a resignation and an investigation from the Erie County District Attorney's Office. 

"Any time a District Attorney starts asking question all staff is concerned, but we're also confident we had not done anything of that nature incorrectly," says Deputy Director Lichtenthal.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office wants the authority to be more transparent moving forward. 

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