Health Department in the hot seat after faked reports

Fallout continues after I-Team investigation
Posted at 10:02 AM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-14 06:23:39-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has learned testimony has been scheduled between the Erie County Department of Health and county lawmakers.

Dr. Gale Burstein will answer questions from the Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday, March 14.

This comes after the I-Team exposed former Erie County Health Inspector Timothy Bean, who faked at least 25 restaurant inspections between November and December.

The committee's chairman, John Bruso, says this will be about how Bean was able to fake these reports.

"I'm sure all the legislators will be there and have questions for her and we're going to obviously focus on what happened," Bruso said.

He wants to know what is being done to stop this from happening again.

"What happens on day-to-day ride alongs, paperwork, did we drop the ball with procedures is what I'd focus on," Bruso said. "How the ball was dropped. That's my focus. I want to make sure it doesn't happen again. We put people at risk if we don't do our jobs."

Bean resigned, citing health reasons, in December. That was after he was found out to be faking reports.

We don't know how long Bean had been falsifying health inspection reports. We asked Bruso about trusting the validity of other restaurant inspections, Bean's included, and if he has faith in Burstein's leadership.

"I'm quite certain and confident that she cares about the people and that is her first priority," Bruso said.

The Erie County District Attorney is investigating and exploring possible charges.