Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Board of Elections Pushes Probe Into Two Pigeon PACs
Next story: And Speaking of Elections...

Mychajliw's Ambition & Fraas's Foreclosure

It’s a shame when politicians go negative—especially ones who have cultivated an image for being always bright, shiny, and positive.

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw is on the air with negative ads hitting his Democratic challenger Kevin Gaughan, for a personal income tax issue that he had. Gaughan’s and the Democrats’ response has been even more pitiful, attempting to hit Mychajliw for being fired from two TV stations for rule-breaking, and for still being listed as a principal at a private PR firm while on the people’s dime. These are all little side issues.

One thing Gaughan has pointedly promised is to not seek higher office while he serves as comptroller. Voters like to see people fulfil their elected roles.

A website he was planning called “” never went anywhere, and he used “” for his transition website. But this one, which he registered in March 2012, hasn’t yet been used: “” This would have set Mychajliw up for a possible run against Congressman Brian Higgins.

Mychajliw, who holds no legal or financial background or degree, and who has no experience whatsoever with accounting or auditing, is uniquely unqualified to be comptroller. But don’t come between him and a microphone, because he’s building a brand.

But Mychajliw was acutely mindful of the fact that he was unqualified for the job. The last two Republicans to challenge Mark Poloncarz for the comptroller job hit him for being a lawyer rather than a CPA. So, naturally, the next time the Republicans win the seat, they picked a guy with a broadcast journalism degree. So Mychajliw pledged to surround himself with the “best and brightest,” the shiniest of whom was Teresa Fraas, a CPA who had only ever worked in the private sector.

The shine faded fast: Fraas, as it turns out, had let her CPA license lapse in New York. Mychajliw made headlines by urgently media-alerting a supposed scandal of sensitive Department of Social Services records being available out in the open to anyone, but as it turns out, Fraas had tricked a custodian to let her into a locked room where the records were kept. Surveillance video proved it.

We are told that Gaughan is not qualified to be comptroller because he fell behind on his taxes. Meantime, Fraas—who resigned on September 8 after just about eight months on the job—got caught falling behind on the mortgage for a home she owned in Arizona.

On December 10, 2012, the Case Grande Dispatch reported that Fraas’s home at 42950 W. Martie Lynn in Maricopa, Arizona was to be sold at foreclosure auction for her failure to pay her mortgage and/or property taxes. The auction sale deed reveals that Fraas’s default exceeded $175,000. This dwarfs Gaughan’s tax issues in both scope and severity.

No one has been hired yet to replace Fraas, the incumbent’s “best and brightest.”

blog comments powered by Disqus