Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. is launching a new way to help crackdown on corruption among public officials.
Flaherty has now made available a public integrity complaint form on his office's website (www.erie.gov/da). Residents can send in tips of possible waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars and other improprieties.
The form can be filled out electronically and must include the name and address of the complainant. It also requires a box to be checked saying any 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. "I am looking for facts. This is not a vehicle to settle personal grudges."
This is the latest move from Flaherty to help make government more transparent and restore the public's trust. He created the office's first public integrity unit and is pushing for tougher ethics reforms. He has put before the Erie County Legislature several amendments to the Erie County Code of Ethics to help bring the rules into the 21st century.
"Most public employees are hardworking public servants committed to the best interest of our community. Unfortunately, there are some exceptions," Flaherty said. "The public is our eyes and ears, and we need its help tracking down misconduct in all levels of government."