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Erie County Executive responds to overtime report, apologizes for reaction

Posted at 7:32 PM, Jan 04, 2022

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is responding to a report by the now-former Erie County Comptroller and apologizing for his initial reaction.

As 7News previously reported, the comptroller’s office said Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein made nearly $285,000 in overtime pay and benefits over the past two years.

The county executive apologized during a COVID briefing Tuesday for what he says was his frustration with the report on the health commissioner’s overtime benefits and his use of a curse word during the briefing when asked about the topic.

“I want to apologize to the people of Erie County for using a swear word last week because I was hot. I try to keep cool in situations like that because I knew the information was wrong,” says County Executive Poloncarz.

The former comptroller’s report said Dr. Burstein made more than $284,000 in pandemic-related overtime, comp time, holiday pay and other benefits.

According to Poloncarz, $46,381,084 was paid out in pandemic-related overtime to all Erie County employees over the past two years.

Poloncarz also said Dr. Burstein was not the highest overtime earner in 2020 and 2021.

The highest paid employee, who was not named, made $312,283 in overtime in 2020 and 2021.

Watch Erie County's full update below: