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Letter: Mychajliw is tarnished by ethical shortcomings

Mychajliw is tarnished by ethical shortcomings

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw doesn’t seem to know the difference between “legal” and “ethical” behavior. The Jan. 26 article, “Mychajliw accused of deceit,” accusing Mychajliw of unethical behavior by aiding in the awarding of an accounting contact to a firm whose chairman helped pay his tuition to a Harvard University leadership program was very disturbing.

Though the county Board of Ethics found no evidence of illegality, it seems to me, at best, poor judgment and, at worst, a serious breach of ethics by the county comptroller. The fact that something is legal doesn’t make it ethical. You might think it’s obvious, but it’s not to Mychajliw, evidenced by the fact that he accepted tuition monies from a person who does business with the county. I have to wonder who else contributed to his tuition that may have future contacts with the comptroller’s office.

As a six-figure salaried government official, Mychajliw should have paid his own tuition or taken out a loan like many students at Erie Community College have to do to fund their education. When he campaigned for county comptroller, he bemoaned the travesty of social service programs such as food stamps for our neediest neighbors. And recently, he tried to make headlines taking issue with the Buffalo Urban League over county contract program discrepancies, which Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger has said are insignificant and were not willfully made. Mychajliw needs to first reflect on his own ethical shortcomings. Citizens of Erie County deserve as much.

Charles H. Campbell