Process server claims Erie County executive threatened to shoot her, Poloncarz disputes

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WGRZ/WHEC) — A process server working for a Buffalo-area investigations firm has claimed that when she went to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s home to serve papers on him as part of a lawsuit, he told her to get off of his property, or he would shoot her.

The lawsuit alleges that the $176,000 dollars Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein received in overtime payments on top of her more than $200,000 annual salary was illegal and that she must pay it back and disclose any income she may have earned while working in private practice when she had the county position.

The County Executive, and the county’s Commissioner of Personnel, Timothy Hogues, are also named in the lawsuit. It was filed by two Erie County residents.

Jodi Williams, who works for the Empire State Process Service, claims in an Affidavit of Service obtained by our Buffalo affiliate, WGRZ, that she tried and failed three separate times to serve Poloncarz at his Delaware Avenue home and at one other address in the City of Buffalo, before the incident on Jan. 29.

She alleges that she knocked on the front door several times with no answer, before going to the back door to knock. Williams claims Poloncarz yelled "you’re lucky you didn’t get shot" to me through the window and that when she asked, "Why would I get shot? I have a summons for you." he told her "The sheriffs just left and they are on their way back."

Williams claims she asked if he wanted her to wait for the Sheriff’s Office to respond, and Poloncarz told her, "get the f*&% off my property before I shoot you!"

Williams said she left the papers at his back door and got out.

Poloncarz’s press secretary told WGRZ "The County Executive did not threaten to shoot anyone. Thank you."

When asked again, Williams stuck with her story.

Click here for WGRZ’s reporting on the issue.