DA investigating Erie County health inspector who faked 25 restaurant reports

Posted at 9:13 AM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 21:41:14-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has learned the Erie County District Attorney is investigating the case of a former Erie County sanitarian, who faked at least 25 restaurant inspections.

Timothy Bean resigned in December, citing health reasons, after he was found out to be falsifying restaurant inspections in West Seneca and Orchard Park.

District Attorney John Flynn, through a spokesman, said "our office is investigating this case."

"It could be official misconduct, it could be falsification of records... at this point I don't know what the potential charges are," Flynn said.

Flynn said his office was notified about Bean and the falsification of restaurant inspections on Friday.

"I give credit where credit is due here and the health department did the right thing and they let me know about it," Flynn said.

But that was only one business day before our story was set to air. County administrators knew our story would air on February 25.

When asked about possible legal action, earlier in the month, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein, told the I-Team, "I'm not really sure the County wants to expend legal resources to prosecute this person ... we have a limited budget... our goal, our focus is to really ensure food safety in our community's restaurants."

The I-Team confronted Bean recently, who said, "I completely screwed up ... did some really stupid things and I'm paying for it," Bean said. The I-Team asked why he falsified these reports. Bean said, "You know Ed, if I could give you a good reasoning I would. I don't know."

Keep in mind, the County had known about Bean and his falsified reports since December. Nonetheless, the Erie County Health Department felt it necessary to notify the DA. He is taking a deep look into Bean's past.

Flynn says this case is important because it involves public health and public safety. At this point he is in the early stages of the investigation and is reviewing all paperwork associated with Bean and the department of health.