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New way offered to report government fraud and corruption

Erie County residents who are aware of county officials and employees engaging in waste of taxpayer money, fraud or abuse of authority now can file a complaint about that conduct online through the District Attorney’s Office.

But they do have to sign their name.

A Public Integrity Complaint Form is now online at, the office website for Acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr., providing what he describes as an easy way to help crackdown on corruption among public officials.

The form can be filled out and filed electronically. It also must include the name and address of the complainant. Any knowingly false statements submitted will be prosecuted as a misdemeanor.

“I am asking people to sign their name because I want this taken seriously,” Flaherty said in a prepared statement. “I am looking for facts. This is not a vehicle to settle personal grudges.”

Since he took office in January, Flaherty also created the DA’s first Public Integrity Unit and has put before the Erie County Legislature several amendments to the Erie County Code of Ethics.