Erie County Executive Mark Polancarz says a petition to get rid of Health Commissioner Dr. Gail Burstein is misguided.
The petition was started by chronic-pain patients of Dr. Eugene Gosy. In the petition, they allege that Erie County abandoned them after Dr. Gosy was indicted on 114 counts related to prescription narcotics. After he was indicted, Dr. Gosy closed his office for more than two weeks, which left his patients scrambling to find doctors who were willing and able to prescribe them pain medication.
Poloncarz says the petition's supporters mistakenly believe that the county ordered the office's shutdown. He says the county didn't even knew that there was an investigation underway.
"We didn't even know that was happening," Poloncarz said. "That's the reason why there was no sort of plan."
Poloncarz says the petition will not influence Burstein's employment.
"She is going nowhere. She has been a tremendous health commissioner," Poloncarz said.